Audi showcases latest range of premium SUVs in Malaysia – we get some drive time in the Q2 and Q8

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Earlier this week, Audi Malaysia invited the Malaysian motoring fraternity to the launch of their latest Q-models. The Q-models represent Audi’s strongest range of premium SUVs in the market, with the debut marking a chapter in the development of the Audi brand here. The Q-models now made available for sale include the Q7 and face-lifted Q5, along with two surprising new entries — the Q2 and Q8.

Having spent some time before in the Audi Q5 and more recently the Audi Q7, we looked forward to get some quick first impressions with the new kids on the block instead.

Perhaps our highlight of the day was the Audi Q8. Think of it as a sleek five-person carrier, diluted from a family strain which produces the likes of Urus and Bentayga. Place the Q8 next to its Q7 sibling and you immediately notice how she sits wider, lower and shorter. And while looks may be subjective, we think the Q8 looks spectacular, especially when spec’d in the right colour.

A 3.0 litre turbocharged V6 powers the Q8, good for 340 hp and 500 Nm, delivered to all four corners via an eight-speed tiptronic transmission. There’s a mild hybrid system in here too; a 48 volt lithium-ion battery which aids long distance coasting and battery start-stop phases, effectively lowering the car’s combined fuel consumption as well.

We were lucky to start the first half of the day driving the Q8, as our route consisted of mostly highway tarmac. There’s a sense of business as you slip into the Q8 cockpit, perhaps a touch too executive or formal, but clearly well designed and thoughtfully executed. The display panels are touch sensitive and provide tactile feedback, similar to modern day iPhones.

And yes, all touchscreens are fingerprint magnets so having more space for touchscreen equates to more fingerprints overall.

Although it tips the scales at just over 2,100 kgs, the Q8 munches on blacktop with little effort. Certainly, you shouldn’t expect Lamborghini or Bentley levels of performance, but this 3.0 litre V6 powerplant in this Q8 feels ‘just right‘. The powertrain is mapped to the individual Audi Drive Select modes and in the ‘Dynamic’ setting, you get the full spread tech of adaptive air-suspension, progressive steering, and even four-wheel steering.

Moving into the second half of the day, we swapped cars into the Q2; Audi’s foray into the baby SUV market. Ok, if we’re honest, baby SUV market doesn’t really exist, let’s be honest — but other brands (read: Mercedes-Benz and BMW) have entries in these niches, so it makes sense for Audi to participate in the fray. In any case, it was perfect timing for the swap during the media drive, as the second half of the day consisted of mostly hill-climb sections through the back roads of Karak towards Gohtong, then back to Karak highway for the journey home.

Audi’s Q2 now sits as the most affordable Audi available for sale in Malaysia (since the Audi A1 Sportback made its Malaysian debut back in March 2013) . Motivation comes from a 1.4 turbocharged four-cylinder which churns out 150 hp and 250 Nm and is mated to a 7-speed S-tronic automatic gearbox.

The Q2 carries exterior aesthetics that are chunky and unmistakably from the Q-family. Audi have always led the way in the lighting department, so you get fancy LED headlamps and LED daytime running lights, along with dynamic turn-signals. On the rear, the tail-lamps are obviously more simple, although we have to applaud Audi on the base design of the cluster. There’s even a contrasting ‘blade’ inspired design in Ice Silver Metallic (a concept which was undoubtedly borrowed from the R8) on the rear C-pillar. 

Inside, its clear that many components were lifted off Volkswagen’s parts bin. The cockpit is familiar from the moment you step inside, differentiated primarily by Audi’s virtual cockpit, Audi branded switch-gear, and Audi designed air-cond vents. We hate to over analyze, but those AC vents are layered — the inner ring can be rotated but serve no purpose. Instead, you need to rotate the outer shroud of the AC vents to control the air-flow.

There are more cues which help to further define the Q2 as the most affordable Audi; manually adjustable seats, no rear AC vents, no electronic tailgate, and not even paddle shifters.

During our short drive up and down Gohtong, the Q2 proved to have a fiery spirit. In the hill-climb sectors, the gutsy 1.4 litre motor proved to have punch and character, keeping up with the rest of its Q-brethren despite the massive gap in power. We swapped seats with @zerotohundred for the down-hill sector and with Tom behind the wheel, it was obvious the Q2 was deft on its feet and had decent brakes to match.

All-in-all, it was a good day out and certainly a positive sign for us to see some Audi presence back in Malaysia. Let us know if comments below, if you have a favourite Q-model. In the meantime, let’s see if we can request for a more conclusive driven review.

Below is a quick recap of Audi’s Q2, Q5, Q7 and Q8 models. All Audi Q-models sold in Malaysia will include a five-year unlimited mileage warranty. Our gallery from the drive will be at the bottom of this post.

Audi Q2 1.4 TFSI S-tronic Sport — RM219,900
– 1.4 turbocharged four-cylinder
– 150 hp (5,000 – 6,000 rpm)
– 250 Nm (1,500 – 3,500 rpm)
– 7-speed S-tronic
– 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds
– Vmax 212 km/h

Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI quattro — RM339,900
– 2.0 turbocharged four-cylinder
– 252 hp (5,000 – 6,000 rpm)
– 370 Nm (1,600 – 4,500 rpm)
– 7-speed S-tronic
– 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds
– Vmax 237 km/h

Audi Q7 3.0 TFSI quattro — RM599,900
– 3.0 turbocharged V6
– 333 hp (5,500 – 6,500 rpm)
– 440 Nm (2,900 – 5,300 rpm)
– 8-speed tiptronic
– 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds
– Vmax 250 km/h

Audi Q8 3.0 TFSI quattro — RM727,900
– 3.0 turbocharged V6
– 340 hp (5,200 – 6,400 rpm)
– 500 Nm (1,370 – 4,500 rpm)
– 8-speed tiptronic
– 0-100 km/h in 5.9 seconds
– Vmax 250 km/h

 

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About Author

mm

From supercar spotting on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Won has moved onto the realms of motoring journalism since 2011. He has a keen eye for automotive photography, a penchant for fast cars, and the occasional hunger for munching corners.

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