Find a car review

Make
Model
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.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

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.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/mclaren/201759/new-mclaren-gt-review-woking-muscles-in-on-aston-martins-home-ground
McLaren

New McLaren GT review – Woking muscles-in on Aston Martin’s home ground

Is McLaren’s first grand tourer just a toned-down supercar, or something more nuanced and special?
17 Sep 2019
Visit/review/201600/milltek-volkswagen-up-gti-review-tuner-takes-supermini-to-145bhp
Review

Miltek Volkswagen Up GTI review

VW’s Up GTI is already a favourite of ours. Can Milltek’s upgrades improve it further?
16 Sep 2019
Visit/features/17721/the-best-family-cars-that-are-fun-to-drive
Best cars

Best family cars that are still fun to drive

Saloon, hatchback or SUV, family cars come in all shapes and sizes, and needn’t be a snore to drive. These are some of the team’s favourites.
13 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22773/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-chosen-by-those-in-the-know-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - chosen by those in the know

The perfect choice for those looking to extract every last drop of performance, we run down Goodyear's Eagle F1 SuperSport range
12 Jun 2019