Audi’s taken the wraps off its new Q8 Concept. It’s really less concept, however, as Audi plans to build a production version of the hybrid as it expands its SUV lineup.
The Q8, which should hit the road as a 2018 model, is slated to be Audi’s flagship luxury SUV. With a larger-than-ever redesigned Audi grille, and sloping roof and rear, it heralds Audi’s future design direction.
The 5-passenger family hauler follows the current trend of giving SUVs coupe-styled sloping roofs. The front end sports new LED lights and large air intakes as well. Frameless windows give it a sporty vibe. Overall its two inches shorter than the Q7. It has a slightly shorter wheelbase, too.
The production version is likely to look pretty similar to what you see here, though it won’t be exact. We rather doubt, for example, it will come with these 23-inch wheels.
Inside, the cabin features the next-generation of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, which includes a dual-touchscreen system.
Audi isn’t shy about what the model is up against. It will compete with the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe. Marc Lichte, head of Audi design, takes on the competition with some bold claims for his company.
“Audi’s core design values are sporty, simple, and progressive. And if you look at our competitors, you’d say that you have to be sophisticated too. BMW and Mercedes are very sophisticated. BMW, I would say, is very sporty, but Audi is becoming more and more so. The differentiation is being progressive,” he says.
The Q8 concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid electric drivetrain. A 3.0-liter supercharged engine and an electric motor produce 443-horsepower when combined, along with 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired to an eight-speed transmission.
Look for it to hit dealerships next year as a 2018 model.
Photo Credit: Audi/NewspressUSA