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After teasing it last month, Audi presents the Audi Q8 concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017.

With this model the premium manufacturer is tapping into a new segment for the full-size class – “an elegant alternative to the robust presence of a classic sport utility vehicle”.

The concept car is the basis for a production model that Audi will launch on the market in 2018.

At 5.02 meters (16.5 ft) long and featuring a wheelbase of three meters (9.8 ft),the Audi Q8 concept promises to offer plenty of space for passengers and luggage.

“The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.”

Audi Q8 Design

The front view of the 2.04-meter-wide (6.7 ft) Audi Q8 concept features the octagonal Singleframe grille that’s sculpted and significantly wider than in today’s Audi production models.

Flanking the imposing grille are the flat, wedge-shaped headlights that use digital Matrix laser technology. All lighting functions are dynamic.

The Q8’s profile highlights the typical Quattro proportions – the haunches are designed in such a way that they emphasize the front and rear wheels equally.

The doors do not have window frames, while they can be opened via touch sensors. The Audi Q8 concept is 1.70 meters (5.6 ft) tall.

The wheel arches feature a double design. The sill region of the doors shine in brushed aluminum for creating a contrast to the show car’s Bombay blue paint finish.

The Q8’s rear end can be characterized by a long roof edge spoiler, and a strip of lights extending over the entire width of the rear end. The latter serves as both the tail and brake light as well as the dynamic turn signals.

Like in the front, all lighting functions at the rear are dynamic. The diffuser is made of aluminum; its clasp of high-gloss Carbon Atlas.

Audi Q8 Interior

The interior of the Audi Q8 concept claims to offer spaciousness for four persons and their large suitcases. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 630 liters (22.2 cu ft).

Virtually floating above the center tunnel is a console for the shift-by-wire lever, with which the driver controls the eight-speed tiptronic transmission purely electronically. The console’s appearance resembles the stern of a sailing yacht.

The lounge-like interior further features sports seats up front, two individual seats in the rear, arrow-shaped inlays in the doors, a sci-fi themed instrument panel, and a massive display surface on the dashboard called “black panel”.

When dark, LED light guides illuminate the interior with white light. The fine assortment of materials used in the Q8’s cabin include high-gloss carbon and aluminium, while the seats are covered in a combination of Fine Nappa leather and Nubuk leather, both in pastel silver.

Audi Q8 Technology

Information and commands in the Q8 are passed primarily through touch displays augmented by the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact analogue head-up display.

All displays feature a new “digital design” that concentrates systematically on the most important things.

The Audi virtual cockpit gets new functions, while the 12.3-inch TFT display shows maps, lists and additional information.

All other monitors in the Audi Q8 concept are touch displays. The MMI monitor in center of the dashboard is used to control the infotainment system and for vehicle settings

Audi Q8 Plug-In Hybrid

The Audi Q8 concept uses production technologies for the drive system and suspension. Its plug-in hybrid drive-train features a combustion engine; a 3.0 TFSI producing 245 kW (333 hp) and a maximum of 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque.

The electric motor generates 100 kW of power and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft). Together with a decoupler, it is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic. The complete system produces 330 kW and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque.

The Audi Q8 concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). According to the standard applicable for plug-in hybrids, it consumes just 2.3 liters of fuel (102.3 US mpg) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in the NEDC, corresponding to 53 grams CO2 per km (85.3 g/mi).

The lithium-ion battery located in the rear consists of 104 prismatic cells. With a capacity of 17.9 kWh, it enables an electric range of 60 kilometers (37.3 mi), and the total range with the TFSI engine is up to 1,000 kilometers (621.4 mi). A full charge with 7.2 kW output takes about two and a half hours.

Audi Q8 Drive-train

In the Audi Q8 concept, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system delivers the power of the hybrid drive to the road with supreme control.

The adaptive air suspension sets the ground clearance in two levels, with 90 millimeters (3.5 in) height difference, to the ideal level in each case. The front and rear suspensions are engineered as lightweight five-link designs.

Audi mounts 305/35-series tires on the large 11J x 23 wheels, while ceramic brake discs measuring 20 inches in diameter decelerate the Audi Q8 concept.

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