Audi Q8 50 TDI

quattro

Audi Q8, front
Audi Q8, nose
Audi Q8, side
Audi Q8, rear
Audi Q8, interior
Audi Q8, console

THERE'S no doubt James Bond's wonder wizard of high tech gadgetry Q would be delighted to see his name on Audi's latest SUV.

For the new Q8 is packed with more kit than 007's scientific superstar would ever dream up.

This latest in the award-winning Q series is the most expensive of them all with a price tag not too far short of £90,000, so not for everyone.

But if you have a Bill Gates style bank account the Q8, the luxury flagship of the Q range, is a stunning example of the German car maker's talents.

Visually it resembles the well established Q7, except that the wider but slightly shorter newcomer has couple-like styling which gives it a more sporty appeal.

But like its sibling the five-seat Q8 majors on size and space. Make no mistake this is a large car which means huge legroom for rear seat passengers - even if they're tall enough to be members of the Grenadier Guards.

And the guardsmen would feel at home in a car whose seats are upholstered in black luxury quilted leather ideally suited to any officer's club.

But in the case of the Q8 these rear seats can be heated or cooled at the touch of a button.

Front seat travellers get the same feature plus a massaging facility which ensures you arrive without any stiffness in your muscles.

Doors and headlining are businesslike and upmarket too, being finished in Alcantara while the dashboard is finished in piano black with a tinted centre touch screen merging imperceptibly. They do say you get what you pay for and the Q8 is a shinning example of that.

It's powered by a 3.0-litre, 282bhp, six cylinder diesel engine with a mild hybrid system which will give you all the grunt you want when you put your right foot down hard. Despite its size the Q8 will hit 62 miles-per-hour in a whisker over six seconds and its quattro four-wheel-drive system allows you to put al that power to the road without any danger of wheel spin or torque steer while giving you plenty of grip for enthusiastic sportscar-like motoring.

With an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox you get super smooth relaxed driving in a car whose height allows you excellent all round vision. And when you want to liven things up a little there are paddles behind the steering wheel for hands-on driving as well as the option to change the driving mode to dynamic (not to mention, efficiency, comfort, auto and individual).

The Q8 makes the going easy, with everything from adaptive air suspension to giant 21-inch alloy wheels and a head-up display in the windscreen.

Despite its size this is car which is easy to park thanks to on-board cameras which not only give you a 360 degree view of the car from above but a selectable view looking at the rear of the vehicle or either side thanks to clever graphics which show it in its current position.

The Q8 is packed with every kind of safety feature you can think of and then some with up to five radar sensors, five cameras, twelve ultrasound sensors and a laser scanner fitted to every car.

And after dark you have night vision assistance and Matrix headlights which ensure you can drive on permanent full beam without blinding other motorists.

This is a car on which the doors automatically pull themselves to their final closed position if you just put them on the catch - so you won't wake the neighbours - and the roller luggage cover retracts automatically if you open the tailgate and moves back into position as you close it

FAST FACTS

Audi Q8 50 TDI quattro

Price: £88,015

Mechanical: 282bhp, 2,967cc, 6cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox.

Max Speed: 152mph

0-62mph: 6.3 seconds

Combined MPG: 33.0

Insurance Group: 47

C02 emissions: 226g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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