"Cool, Collected And Almost Architectural" Is How Tan Szue Hann Describes The Audi Q8
The Audi Q8 is the newest member of the marque’s Q family, its sports utility vehicle (SUV) range. As the flagship of the brand’s SUV line-up, it boasts a strong and impressive presence on the roads, especially when it measures 4.99m long, 2.19m wide and 1.71m tall.
When Generation T 2017 honouree Tan Szue Hann, a motoring enthusiast himself, first saw the SUV in the flesh, he was pleasantly surprised that a car of such massive dimensions is “sleek, muscular and rather poised”.
“It certainly looks like a high-tech car, with a couple of tricks up its sleeve,” said the managing director of upcycling firm Miniwiz Singapore. “The crossover coupe form belies its sheer size. It’s a big car, but its proportions makes it seem otherwise. And its stance makes it look like it’s sure-footed and ready to go, in that minimum fuss Audi manner.”
The trained architect spent a morning cruising around central Singapore in the Audi Q8 and he shares with us his thoughts on the design and performance of the marque’s flagship SUV.
From a design perspective, what strikes you most about the car?
Tan Szue Hann (TSH) The octagonal Singleframe grille is splayed wide and large, and it seems to work for the new Audi Q8. The car looks like it’s hewn from stone, and its angular corners do correspond with the grille. The octagonal grille has also become emblematic of Audi’s recent releases, and while I personally still relate more to the previous-generation hexagonal ones, I think it works in this case.
While I’m not a fan of the overnight, industry‑wide “form over function” grille enlargements—the actual air intake openings tend to be much smaller—I get that the grille, more than ever, has become a signature of the marque. In Audi’s case, the growth of the grille has been evolutionary from one generation of vehicles to the next, so it has been easier to get used to.
(Related: The Audi A8 Is Every Passenger's Dream Ride)
I also really like the design of the taillights. To me, it exudes a certain modern tech sophistication. I think it integrates rather nicely with the Dragon Orange colour, too. I certainly wouldn’t mind waiting behind the Q8 at the traffic lights as I’d be spending that time looking at its rear design!
How does it feel behind the wheel?
TSH I certainly can’t deny that the car is big, but its low-slung crossover coupe form certainly helps to soften its somewhat intimidating presence. Some may think the car looks fierce, but in fact, it looks cool, collected and almost architectural, and ready to take on any challenge you throw at it—both on and off-road.
The ride almost feels that way too—efficient, fuss-free and quiet, despite its 3.0L V6 engine. The car is made even more versatile with air suspension, and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive system that allows you to take on any corner or terrain with ease and confidence.
What are your thoughts on the interior of the car?
TSH The interior, like what we’ve come to expect from Audi, continues to be “high-tech cool”, with high-quality fit and finish. While I’d personally fuss over all the possible fingerprint marks that would gather on the piano black finish on the dashboard, it does blur the boundaries, where the in-car touchscreen infotainment system starts and ends.
The combination of leather and brushed metal finishing exudes what I deem as the hallmark Audi techno-luxury feel. Also, there seems to be plenty of leather inside the car too, due to the sheer size of the interior—that gives the SUV an ultra‑luxurious and exquisite touch.
Being a five-seater, yet with measurements of such a large car, the Q8 feels like a Gran Turismo car, comfortable for long journeys. At the back, I didn’t feel the sloping roofline either. The ride in the Audi Q8 definitely left a deep impression on me, not just because of its sheer size but also because of its handsome aesthetics, ease of handling and stylish interior.
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(Related: Experience The Future At Audi Brand Experience Singapore 2018)
- Photography CHING/GREENPLASTICSOLDIERS
- Make-Up ANGEL GWEE