The gates leading to the 2017 North America International Auto Show in Detroit were opened yesterday and almost immediately, Audi unveiled their Coupe-UV-ish concept - the Q8. The Q8 Concept is a preview to Audi’s rival to BMW’s X6 and Merc’s GLE Coupe. The final production version is expected to hit the market in 2018.
The Bombay Blue crossover show car gives an idea of how much Audi’s design language has progressed in the last couple of years. The gawping grille looks like nothing else from Audi’s current product portfolio and the frameless windows give the big SUV a more four-door coupe feel.
The Q8 Concept is based on a chopped Audi Q7 (the wheelbase is 0.3 inches shorter). However, the concept is wider than the standard Q7 that you or I can currently buy in the country. To emphasise the added width, Audi chose to give the concept a full-length tailight design and flared fenders for all four wheels which hark back to the 1980s Quattro’s design. The wide, raked C-pillar gives the Q8 it’s coupe profile.
Step inside and you are greeted to a barrage of touchscreens which Audi says is a preview to the system that we can expect in the next-gen Audi A8. The German car maker didn’t officially reveal the dimensions of the interior but they claim that there is more than adequate headroom for the rear passenger despite the steeply raked roofline.
The Q8 Concept that was showcased has a 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 that produces 333hp. This motor is integrated to a 134hp electric motor which is coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid powertrain makes a total of 443hp which, Audi claims, will take the crossover from 0 to 100kmph in 5.4 seconds. The rear mounted lithium-ion battery pack that takes two and a half hours to charge when plugged to a 240-volt, 30-amp outlet gives the Q8 an all-electric drive range of 60 kilometres.
The good news for people who love to drive their cars, however, is that Audi hasn’t added any self-driving tech to the Q8. But expect the final production version to come with self-driving features that may be prevalent in 2018. Expect more details when he final production version is revealed later in the year. As far as pricing goes, expect Audi to naturally place the Q8 above the Q7.
Shoeb Kalania has rendered the Audi Q8 following the concept car’s debut at the NAIAS 2017. The Audi Q8, a coupe-SUV, will be placed above the Audi Q7 when launched. The rendered image keeps most of the design elements of the concept alive. The large grille - the largest in the Audio lineup - takes centerstage and is flanked by the sleek headlamps. The design features like the frameless doors, flared fenders, raked C-pillar inspired by the Audi Quattro rally car and the sleek, full-length taillights gives the Q8 enough bling to be a flagship Audi.
Image courtesy Shoeb R Kalania @ indianautosblog.com On the inside, Audi has replaced most of the buttons in the cabin with touch sensitive icons on a screen. The simple interior is unlike any production Audi we’ve seen before and if sources are to be believed, some of these features may make its way to the next-gem Audi A8 which is due soon.
So what do you think? Does it look better than a Q7? Has it got the stuff to beat the BMW X6 - the car that pioneered this segment?