At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 2017, Audi will present the Audi Q8 concept. The near-production study represents the brand’s upcoming flagship SUV that’ll combine “the emotional styling of a coupé and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV”. With the Q8, the brand is unlocking a new segment for the full-size category.
“With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” declared Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte. “What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”
The study vehicle’s front end styling will be headlined by an octagonal Singleframe grille that’s considerably wider than that in Audi’s current production models. It is also positioned well forward, with three-dimensional sculpting.
Many design elements of the Q8 concept are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro of the 1980s. They include the extremely flat but very wide C-post, and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels. The proportions have been balanced in such a way that they give equal emphasis to both the front and rear wheels; thus aligning the design with the quattro philosophy.
The Q8 will be positioned above the Audi Q7, and compete with the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, as well as the Range Rover Sport Coupe that’s due next year. It will be based on the MLB Evo modular platform that underpins the Audi Q7, the Audi A4, the Audi A5 and the Bentley Bentayga.
Inside, the Q8 will have a distinctive interior with seats for four. Besides conventional V6 and V8 engines (petrol/diesel) clubbed to fast shifting dual clutch automatic transmissions, the new Audi Q8 may also be offered with either a plug-in hybrid or a pure electric power-train.