Pooja Patel

German automobile giant Audi has kickstarted 2020 with the launch of its flagship SUV Q8. It also announced another launch in February.

The new, powerful beast of the Q family, Q8 was launched on January 15 by Indian skipper Virat Kohli.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli at the launch of Audi Q8
Indian skipper Virat Kohli at the launch of Audi Q8

Priced at ₹1.33 crore onwards, the stunning SUV is a  four-door luxury coupé and equipped with a robust 3.0 TFSI engine. This efficient engine is capable of generating 250KW (340 hp) and 500Nm of torque propelling. Q8 can accelerate from 0-100kmph in 5.9 seconds.

Audi Q8
Audi Q8

“With the launch of Audi Q8, we are targeting individuals who want their car to match their personality. Each Audi Q8 will be made-to-order, available with a plethora of customisation options. We want every Q8 in the country to look different, from the outside and the inside,” said Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India during the launch event. This SUV is produced in a limited quantity of 200 cars will be imported to India as a fully-built unit.

Audi Q8
Audi Q8

The high-performance car is Quattro-inspired. Quattro is a four-wheeler technology, which is a registered trademark of Audi. This revolutionary system is available in select few Audi cars, where unrivalled power is delivered to all the wheels. This, in turn, results in a firm grip on the road and easy manoeuvring. All in all, an extremely efficient engine.

Kohli is the first customer of the Q8 in India and is excited to take his wife Anushka Sharma on a drive on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link. “I’ve been waiting for Q8 and it’s finally here. My Q8 is glacier white in colour and has S line black package in exteriors and interiors. The infotainment system, the comfort inside the SUV is outstanding. For me, it’s a complete package,” said a visibly excited Kohli. He finds the driving experience effortless and loves that the back seat is spacious.

“The room in the rear seat is more than Q7’s. For me, apart from the driving experience, I love the comfort of sitting in the back and the fact that it’s customisable as per my taste and choices. The car’s performance, its control on the road and the speed are outstanding,” says Kohli.

The SUV comes with 48V mild-hybrid technology, progressive steering and air suspension. A point that does come as a surprise is that Q8 does not come in a diesel variant. It’s a surprise because Audi is known for its diesel beasts. Explaining this move, Dhillon says that in the last few years, Audi has observed that the governments across the world have started encouraging automakers to move towards electric cars and the carbon emission laws are becoming stricter.

Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India
Balbir Singh Dhillon, Head of Audi India

“So, as part of Audi India’s Strategy 2025, the company will launch petrol and mild hybrid cars in the BS-IV and BS-VI portfolio,” says Dhillon. Audi wants to strengthen its presence in India, for which the European carmaker has designed Strategy 2025, which will focus on improving products, network, customers and digitalisation. “When we devised this strategy, we analysed the future trends of the next five to seven years. And taking into consideration the huge scope of electrification of cars in about a decade, this year the cars will come only in petrol and e-variants. Though, we have not completely given up diesel variants,” clarifies Dhillon.

The design of the car is smart and young. It comes with an octagonal-shaped single-frame grille with LED headlights, a sunroof that provides a panoramic view, LED headlights that flow till the upper fender, while the frameless windows is an eye-catchy feature. The interiors of the cars greet you with multiple screens and minimum buttons, state of the art infotainment system, high-quality cabin aero-acoustics, buttonless MMI navigation system with touch response and customised contour seats with massage function and ventilation.

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