Audi has unveiled the Q8 Concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) today, previewing the brand’s BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe rivalling model that will enter into production in 2018.
The new Audi Q8 will be the company’s first coupe-like SUV, tapping into a new segment of full-size crossover that combines the elegance of a coupe and the versatility of an SUV.
The front view of the 2.04-metre-wide Audi Q8 concept is dominated by the octagonal Singleframe grille with honeycomb insert. Heavily sculpted and significantly wider than in today’s Audi production models, the new grille is structured by six upright double bars and framed by a contrasting coloured mask. The outer air inlets have a deep and dynamic appearance like the intakes of a turbine. A distinctive aluminium blade forms the bottom edge of the bumper.
The new grille is flanked by the flat, wedge-shaped headlights, which are integrated progressively into the exterior and connected to the surrounding air inlets.
At 5.02 metres long, the Q8 concept’s elongated silhouette features a flat and wide C-pillar reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro from the 1980s. Strongly flared shoulders over the wheels are typical quattro design.
Highlight of the rear styling is no doubt the strip of lights extending over the entire width of the rear end, which Audi says is part of a distinctive e-tron light signature. It serves as both the tail and brake light as well as the dynamic turn signals. The four outer lighting elements are set in aluminium blades and reflect the semantics of the headlights.
With seating for four, the wrap-around cabin is upholstered in fine Nappa and Nubuk leather, lifted by high-gloss carbon applications and aluminium strips. The interior debuts the second iteration of the Audi Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display. With a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels the improved 12.3-inch display offers more space for maps, lists and additional information.
In “Auto” mode the top-down map view visualizes the selected route. When zooming in, the current position and surroundings are displayed in 3D. Through the buttons on the steering wheel, the driver can switch to “performance” mode. The needles of the speedometer and powermeter now appear in a foreshortened, three-dimensional display.
The Q8 concept is propelled by a plug-in hybrid system which Audi says is production ready. The system comprises of a 3.0-litre TFSI petrol engine producing 245 kW and 500 Nm of torque, paired with an electric motor that generates 100 kW of power and 330 Nm. Driving all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission the complete system serves up 330 kW and 700 Nm of torque.
With quattro all-wheel drive, the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h takes just 5.4 seconds, en route to a top speed of 250 km/h. Fuel economy is rated at just 2.3L/100km.
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 km, and the total range with the TFSI engine is up to 1,000 km. A full charge takes about two and a half hours.