Audi’s latest concept that will go into production in 2018, called the Audi Q8, the concept is a plug-in hybrid SUV with a coupe-style roofline, and yet, despite some very distinctive styling and almost outrageous proportion.
Audi expects to launch a production version in just 12 months.
The overall length of the concept is just over five metres, with a three-metre long wheelbase. Its vast size means ample room inside, and despite the sloping roof, plenty of space for rear passengers. The Q8 will be one of Audi’s most prestigious cars so interior space and luxury is an important factor
If you’re familiar with Audi’s naming conventions you may have guessed where the Q8 will fit into its range; the Q8 will be to the Q7 what the A5 is to the A4, similar in size but with a sleeker look and a slightly sportier set-up.
The concept’s hybrid drivetrain produces 330kW and 700Nm. A 3.0-litre petrol V6, putting out 245kW and 500Nm, makes up the conventional drivetrain while the rest of the power comes from a 100kW electric motor. However, we expect the production model to be powered by the range of engines already in the Q7 and eventually the diesel V8 from the SQ7.
The front of the concept is dominated by the huge octagonal grille. Although similar in shape to the grilles found on Audi’s current production models, the Q8’s is far bigger. It looks larger still thanks to the six upright double bars and the thick grey mask around the edge.
The Q8’s frameless doors help reduce the height of roofline and contribute to its sleek silhouette. The car’s 1.7 metre height is disguised by aluminium sills that match the blade that stretches across the bottom edge of the front and rear bumper.
Audi has tried to incorporate some of its heritage in the Q8’s design. The wide C-pillar and box-arch style bulges above the wheels are evocative of the original Ur-quattro from the 1980s.
Inside the infotainment is controlled via numerous touchscreen displays that integrate with Audi’s virtual cockpit and a more expansive head-up display that uses augmented reality. Important information is projected onto the windshield of the Q8 and overlays the environment outside – for example, the satnav’s guiding arrows appear on the actual road ahead.
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