August 22, 2018, 1:02
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Refreshing or Revolting: 2019 Audi Q8

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As Audi’s new flagship SUV, the Q8 ushers in a new design language for the brand’s utility vehicles. In contrast to the conservative Q7, which shares a platform with the Q8 and will be sold alongside it, the new model takes design risks—so much so that it looks more like a concept than a production vehicle. The folks at Audi say this vehicle, which goes on sale in the U.S. late this year, blends the best of an SUV and a coupe. Are they right, or did Audi go too far with the design?

One of the first things you’ll notice about the Q8 is its thick silver grille frame. It protrudes out from the front fascia, giving the Q8 a more three dimensional look. You’ll also notice the grille forms the shape of an octagon, compared to the Q7’s grille that takes on the shape of a hexagon. Audi finished off the look with a sculpted hood, narrow headlamps, and large air inlets lined with more silver trim.

From the side, the Q8 doesn’t look terribly imposing. Although it has the same wheelbase as the Q7, it’s 3.3 inches shorter and 1.4 inches lower. However, it’s an inch wider which contributes to its planted stance. Silver trim along the windows and doors, along with strong character lines above the door handles, make the vehicle stand out from the crowd. Its roof is considerably sloped, and its beltline is high.

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In the rear, the Q8 continues to surprise with a unique taillight signature that runs across a black bar. The taillights appear in a series of vertical lines and are connected by a light bar that runs the span of the rear end. On top of the black bar is a lip that gives the rear end a more sculpted look.

Take a peek inside, and the Q8 gets an interior worthy of a flagship. Basically, it’s covered in screens. There are two central screens: a 10.1-inch display for infotainment functions and an 8.6-inch screen for climate controls. To the left, there is a fully digital instrument panel measuring 12.3 inches. The dashboard design is dominated by clean, horizontal lines. Air vents are barely visible as they are incorporated into the horizontal lines that run across the top of the dashboard. Also notice the model features a flat-bottom steering wheel and contour lighting that provides depth to the surfaces.

Do you think the new 2019 Audi Q8 is refreshing or revolting? Let us know on Facebook! Also check out what Audi Q8 designer Sascha Heyde had to say about creating the vehicle.

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