Five years after it was launched to head off BMW’s hot-selling X6, the Audi Q8 coupé-SUV has been refreshed.
The changes aren’t seismic, but perhaps they didn't need to be. The Q8 has always done a decent job of combining the opulence, quietly strong performance and all-round ease of use of the Audi Q7 with a less pedestrian look and subtly sharper cornering ability. In Europe, Audi now sells roughly one Q8 for every two Q7s, so the decision to launch the model in the first place was also clearly the right one.
It all means that, for the facelift, most of the changes are purely cosmetic, with none concering the chassis. The tweaks are mostly found at the front, where the straightforward slatted main grille has been replaced by one with chunkier vertical elements and an elliptical motif, while those at the sides are now taller and more aggressive. The new matrix LED headlights have laser-light functionality (on the top-spec Vorsprung model, at least) and, for the owner who requires the very last word in configurability, offer four different daytime-running light ‘signatures’, selectable via the unchanged infotainment system.
The OLED rear lights are also new and there are four new wheel designs, ranging from 21in to 23in in diameter, as well as several fresh paint options.
At launch, the Q8 range consists of the 282bhp diesel V6-engined 50 TDI, tested here, the 335bhp petrol V6 TFSI and the 500bhp petrol V8 SQ8. Expect plug-in hybrids to join the line-up next year with a little more electric-only range than before; if the newly updated (and related) Porsche Cayenne is anything to go by, at least 45 miles are in the offing.