audi has released u.s. pricing and details for the 2019 q8, the new top of its suv line, and it will start at $68,395 with destination for the base model. that's a lot more than the previous top-of-the-line suv, the q7, which starts at $50,875 for 2018. but it's a relative bargain compared to the $84,795 starting price for the 2019 a8, audi's flagship sedan.
the five-seat q8 features a more hatchback-coupe roofline than the three-row q7, but it's not as sloped as four-door coupelike suvs offered by bmw and mercedes-benz. the q8 is closer to a toyota venza roofline than a bmw x6; as a result, it has more cargo room (on paper, at least) than a 2019 x6 at 67.5 cubic feet (compared to 59.7 cubic feet for the x6). frameless windows add to the q8's coupe effect. audi will offer it at launch in the base trim level, called premium, as well as premium plus ($72,395) and prestige versions ($77,545). the 2019 q8 will go on sale here in the fourth quarter.
the u.s. powertrain at launch will be an updated 335 horsepower, twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter v-6 that puts out 369 pounds-feet of torque. it works through an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard torque-vectoring quattro all-wheel drive. audi estimates zero-to-60-mph performance at 5.6 seconds. as with other high-end audis, the v-6 also includes a 48-volt light-hybrid system to improve mileage, with a standard stop-start system. also standard are adaptive shock absorbers. an optional adaptive chassis package adds air springs with an off-road mode that adds higher ground clearance (as well as a lower level for loading), plus all-wheel steering.
the standard led headlights flank a big, aggressive version of audi's signature "singleframe" grille. a light strip spans the liftgate, connecting the led taillights. optional are audi's high-definition, matrix-design led headlights with full led taillights. the base model gets 20-inch wheels, while upper trims get 21s or 22s - the latter a first for audi suvs. an available year one launch package includes unique 22-inch wheels, blacked-out grille and trim effects, and more aggressive s-line bumpers with other s-line trim.
leather upholstery is standard, as are a panoramic moonroof and three-zone automatic climate control. also standard is audi's latest two-touchscreen interface for multimedia and other controls, which features natural-language voice recognition plus apple carplay and android auto integration. the 10.1-inch upper screen handles infotainment and navigation functions, while the 8.6-inch lower screen displays climate control and other convenience functions and allows handwritten inputs. a separate 12.3-inch screen displays a configurable instrument cluster. prestige models add a head-up display. of course, a range of additional luxury options exist to upgrade and personalize the cabin.
the 2019 q8 also offers the latest audi safety and driver assistance technology, including a standard forward collision system with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian and bicycle detection. available or standard on some trim levels are adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, an intersection hazard warning with low-speed automatic braking, a left-turn assist, blind spot and passenger exit warnings, rear cross-traffic alert and a sophisticated, zoomable 360-degree camera system.
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