It’s no secret that the past few production Audis have fallen short of the high design standards that the brand set for itself over the previous decade or more, but the Q8 is the first indication that, from a surfacing and form language perspective, it is making its way back on track.
The Q8 concept, based on a Q7 platform and built by ItalDesign, features crisp creases in the flanks, taut fender flares, and beautifully integrated shut lines — all demonstrating that Mark Lichte has in many ways righted the ship of the brand that perfected modern Teutonic design. Anyone hoping for a return to subtlety in the DRG, however, will be disappointed by the angriest face ever to come out of Ingolstadt.
While better integrated in the metal than it seems in photos, the Darth-Vader-meets-Hannibal-Lecter grille is so aggressive that it undermines the otherwise clean modernity of the rest of the car. A shift towards more aggressive DRGs across the industry isn’t going away, but let’s hope the production Q8 gets some anger management before it sees the light of day. With technology and an interior still among the best in class, it’d be nice to see an Audi that’s happy to be back on top of its game.