New Audi Q8 to get exterior refresh for 2023
Audi’s SUV range-topper could receive extensive updates for its mid-life facelift
These latest spy shots show the Audi Q8 is getting ready for its mid-life update, which will see the exterior gain a comprehensive redesign and bring fresh technology to the cabin.
Audi was relatively late to the coupe SUV market with the Q8. Its close rival, the BMW X6, was approaching its third generation by the time the Q8 hit the showrooms in 2018, while the Mercedes GLE Coupe had been on sale for a number of years as well.
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Billed as a sleeker coupe-SUV, the new Q8 sat on the tried and tested Q7 platform, and the continuing popularity of this bodystyle is shown with Audi’s current Q3 Sportback, Q5 Sportback and its range of all-electric coupe-SUVs like the Q4 e-tron Sportback and Q8 Sportback e-tron.
That last model, the Q8 Sportback e-tron, might signify a change of name for the Q8. We’ve seen Audi wasn’t afraid of renaming the facelifted e-tron SUV to Q8 e-tron to bring it in line with the odd-numbered all-electric SUV lineup. To bring the Q8 into line it would make sense to rename it Q7 Sportback.
Be it Q7 Sportback or Q8, we’ve seen it testing in regular Q8 guise and sporty SQ8 form. The front grille has redesigned inserts and it appears the headlight cluster has been given an updated LED signature using Audi’s latest ‘Digital Matrix LED’ technology – which will also feature on the upcoming facelifted Q7. The camouflage extends to the side skirts, suggesting we could see further changes there. Expect some new alloy wheels to be added to the options list as well. The rear shows a new bumper and exhaust setup and we can see the light signature has been tweaked.
As for the SQ8 model, the front has a new lower bumper with larger air intakes to the side. Just like the standard car, there’s a fresh headlight signature. The rear light bar will be continued, but the clusters to the side will again receive a tweaked design. The usual quad-exit exhaust tips is the most obvious hint this is the sporty SQ8 model.
We’re likely to see the Q8 continue to borrow technology from the Q7. This means the 12.3-inch driver’s display, 10.1 central touchscreen and lower 8.6-inch touchscreen will all be retained. System updates could help make the infotainment easier to use, while more functions may be added to Audi’s ‘myAudi’ smartphone app.
Although we’ve not seen it testing, a range-topping RS Q8 should be facelifted too. Its 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged petrol V8 produces 592bhp in the outgoing car, but Audi has tuned it to 621bhp in other models so a power bump could be on the cards.
The standard Q8 is likely to continue to offer a 3.0-litre V6 mild-hybrid diesel and a 3.0-litre V6 petrol, although the plug-in hybrid TFSI e model has gone off sale. A revised PHEV model could return with a more efficient battery set up to improve on the old car’s 24-mile electric-only range.
Now read our review of the all-electric Audi Q8 e-tron…
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