Brendan Seery
Deputy Editor
5 minute read
20 Aug 2019
6:25 am

The One for silver studs

Brendan Seery

Q8: Gloriously impractical but it’ll Turbocharge your love life. Go from 0-100km/h in just under six seconds in Audi’s masculine monster.

She was, shall we say, of that certain age when you don’t need to prove to people that you’ve arrived … or that you have exceptional taste.

Her black-on-black Porsche Cayenne Turbo was proof of that.

There was another indication of that “I only want the best in life” attitude as she pulled up next to me at the traffic lights, gesturing as she wound down her window.

I’m a married man, I’m afraid. So, I tried to ignore her and look ahead. But I realised that with great looks comes a great responsibility … to the sometimes desperately yearning women of the world. So I glanced her way with what I hoped was a wistful, “Sorry you can’t have this” smile.

“Beautiful!” she mouthed.

Thanks. I’m flattered, but this can never be.

“Beautiful car!”

You women can be cruel at times.

As she pulled off, she didn’t even floor the Porsche (although it would have made an interesting match-up)… because she wanted to ogle the lines of the metallic gold Audi Q8 I was in command of.

Just for a moment, though, as I booted the twin-turbo 250kW V6 engine and the Audi launched itself ahead, I thought that perhaps she was already looking past the greying beard and knowing that a man in charge of such a priapic monster as a Q8 could, well, be interesting…

I should have told her it wasn’t mine … but I didn’t want to see her reaction to that confession.

So, there you go, you silver stallions out there: get yourself a Q8 and turbocharge your love life.

Having spent time behind the wheel, I can say this would be probably the only reason for getting one, because for the rest, it is impractical. Gloriously impractical in a way which ignores the reality that cars like these will go the way of the dinosaurs in only a few years’ time if the politicians and environmentalists get their way.

It is an all wheel drive (AWD).

It does have Audi’s amazing Quattro permanent AWD system. It does have as much as 254mm of ground clearance.

And, no doubt, it will keep going, as Audi’s press release promises, when the road runs out.

But who on earth would want to go bundu bashing with the gargantuan 22-inch wheels and low-profile tyres on our test Q8?

The suspension would, no doubt, soak up any gravel road bumps and humps with barely a shrug, but heaven knows, I would not like to get a puncture miles from anywhere. It may have a “mobility kit” with which to pump up said tyre – but what if you had to remove the wheel completely (possibly while you waited for a replacement to be flown in from Germany)? Do you know how much a 22-inch wheel (even in magnesium) weighs?

There is that brilliant engine, of course, which thrusts the two-ton car to 100km/h in a shade under six seconds.

Overtaking is almost a thought process: as your brain contemplates it, your foot goes down and it’s done.

Naturally, none of this comes cheap at the petrol pumps. Don’t believe Audi’s claim of nine litres per 100km in the combined cycle. You’ll be lucky to see less than 13l/100km in the city (even taking it easy, which is not easy) and around 9.5l/100km on the highway at the national speed limit (also not easy).

There is an enormous boot and the sort of legroom in the back you only find in a stretched limousine.

Behind the wheel, you have to tip your hat to the Audi designers (as I do every time) because everything is so right.

And, of course, if you want to play Baby you can drive my car at top volume for your R1.3 million so a lady in a Cayenne can see and hear the rock ’n roller in you, then there’s a Bang & Olufsen sound system with 23 speakers.

It was a bit lost on me, because I am slightly deaf in one ear, but my colleague Shaun appreciated it.

Feel like a rock star in your car

I have had the pleasure of driving cars which boast Harman Kardon, Beats and DL Audio systems, but never have I driven a vehicle with a sound system as good as the Bang & Olufsen in Audi’s Q8.

I am somewhat an audiophile who has had all sorts of aftermarket sound systems installed in my car, including a very pricey Rockford Fosgate setup which was by far my favourite, so when I got into the Q8, I immediately heard the quality of the sound system.

I could personally only find 10 speakers in the vehicle but I was surprised to find that this premium SUV had 19 speakers, which included a well-hidden and punchy subwoofer in the spare wheel compartment. This setup helped give the vehicle a 3D audio experience like no other.

The multimedia interface is also premium and futuristic, because it has no buttons on the dashboard.

The centre console houses a tablet-like interface which controls the air-conditioning system and just above that, another tablet-like interface which is the heart of the multimedia system.

My only gripe with the multimedia interface is the fact that you have to press the monitor quite hard for it to accept the inputs and this left fingerprints on the glossy black monitor.

Overall this system gets three thumbs-ups from me.

It might cost a little more to add the Bang & Olufsen option, but in my opinion it is worth it.

It will have you feeling like a rock star in your very own mobile concert arena.

Shaun Holland

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