By Declan Glynn

The stunning Audi Q8 is the iconic German manufacturer’s new flagship luxury large-SUV, and is a close relative of Audi’s more conventional Q7.

Audi’s mission statement for the Q8 was to combine the elegance of a large coupé with the comfort, convenience and versatility of a large, all wheel-drive, SUV.

It is clear to see that, with the Q8, Audi’s engineers and designers have admirably succeeded in achieving their intended goal. Dynamic Road Presence In terms of overall size, the Q8 is 66mm shorter, and 35mm lower than its Q7 sister car.

It has a body that is 27mm wider than that of the Q7, but it uses the same axle track widths and the same wheelbase.

As a result, the new Q8 cuts a striking dash on the road, and is a very imposing car which oozes outright confidence – and desirability.

At the front of the car is an exaggerated ‘singleframe’ radiator grille, which provides the Q8 with plenty of road presence.

Engine & Specification; Only one engine is available in the Q8 for now – Audi’s 286bhp, 3.0litre ‘50 TDI’ turbo- diesel, which is paired up with a 48V electrical architecture featuring a mild-hybrid large-capacity battery, and advanced engine startergenerator for excellent real-world fuel efficiency.

Presently, just one specification is available – the lavishly-equipped S-Line Quattro Tip-Tronic – but a suite of optional extras are available in order to create the ultimate in personalisation.

Audi’s standard TipTronic (8-speed) automatic gearbox provides seemless gear changing ability, and improves fuel efficiency in the process too.

Car On Review; The car I drove this week was an Audi Q8 S-Line Quattro (4WD) Tip-Tronic (automatic) finished in delightful Daytona Grey pearlescent paint, which really highlighted the car’s standard 21” V-spoke alloy wheels to great effect.

The standard 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel engine produces 286bhp and a whopping 600Nm of torque, allowing the car to complete the 0-100km/h sprint in just 6.3-seconds.

Based on new WLTP efficiency and emissions testing procedures, the Q8 returns fuel efficiency as low as 8.4l/100km.

As would be expected in a flagship model, the standard equipment level in the new Q8 is extremely comprehensive, while the cabin of the car is luxuriously appointed and very user friendly.

Brushed metal and gloss-black panelling are used liberally throughout the Q8’s interior, creating an ambience that’s entirely upmarket and desirable.

Uncluttered Cabin Design; Situated on the dashboard fascia is Audi’s dual screen MMI infotainment system, which comprises a primary 10.2-inch screen above a smaller 8.6-inch unit.

The upper screen controls all of the Q8’s features and functions, such as the satellite navigation, vehicle settings and telephone connectivity, while the lower screen is intended to display those features you interact with most often, such as the air conditioning, radio and seat heating.

By incorporating the vast majority of vehicle controls within the twin screens, physical dials and buttons are limited in number, lending the Q8 an interior that feels uncluttered and logically designed.

Pricing; The new Audi Q8 is priced from €103,250, or from €1,069pm on PCP. With its athletic and muscular profile, stunning looks, ultimate refinement and terrific driving dynamics, the new Audi Q8 is a super-cool, and super-desirable, flagship SUV.