In-depth reviews

Audi Q8 review – a master of comfort and refinement - Engine and gearbox

Audi’s first coupe SUV isn’t the last word in driving thrills, but it serves up an easy to live with and satisfying package

Evo rating
Price
from £65,040
  • Comfortable, luxurious and completely intuitive to drive despite its size
  • Neither thrilling or exciting, may not be flamboyant enough for some

Engine and gearbox

The Audi Q8’s 3-litre V6 turbo diesel engine is supplemented by a 48-volt belt-driven small electric motor mounted on the front of the engine. Its main use is to aid the diesel engine under load to reduce turbo lag, but it also acts as a starter motor to smooth out the car’s start/stop function and adds charge to the 48V sub-system’s lithium-ion battery.

When it comes to actually reducing lag, though, it’s not entirely successful. Press the throttle below 2500rpm and there is a significant pause before the car responds and eventually surges forward. It isn’t any worse than you would reasonably expect from a diesel SUV, but the promise of less lag from the mild hybrid system and that the Q8’s engine is very responsive above 3000rpm, and the delay you get at low rpm is rather disappointing. As is the 5000rpm red line that the engine won’t rev to; instead the gearbox changes up automatically, whether you’re in manual mode or not, at 4900rpm.

These are the only criticisms of the Q8’s drivetrain, though; its performance is more than adequate, it’s very smooth and refined, its eight-speed automatic gearbox makes almost seamless shifts, the quattro system distributes torque to all four wheels without any fuss, and if you get a hint of noise from the engine it’s actually rather pleasant – not the rattly diesel sound you might have anticipated.

Most Popular

2022 BMW M3 Touring teased ahead of reveal
2022 BMW M3 Touring
BMW M3

2022 BMW M3 Touring teased ahead of reveal

BMW has released new images of its upcoming M3 Touring before it reaches customers next year
24 Sep 2021
Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS 2022 review – middle child 992 shapes up
Porsche 911 GTS review (992) – front cornering
Porsche 911 Carrera

Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS 2022 review – middle child 992 shapes up

Two and a half years after the launch of the 992, the GTS treatment both adds and subtracts but does the result gel on the road?
21 Sep 2021
Lotus Emira First Edition priced from £75,995 – production to commence in 2022
Lotus Emira
Lotus

Lotus Emira First Edition priced from £75,995 – production to commence in 2022

First examples of the new Lotus Emira will roll off the production line early next year, with the entry-level four-cylinder to follow
20 Sep 2021