You’re looking at the concept car for the New 2017 Audi Q8 hybrid crossover flagship, unveiled at the 2017 Detroit motor show. It’s described as combining the ‘emotional styling of a coupe and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV.’ Think of it as a car cut from the same cloth as BMW’s X6, but bigger – at 5020mm long – and more luxurious.
As we know, Audi’s not averse to creating niche models. A roomy kind of crossover. Those vast dimensions should guarantee a roomy interior; the wheelbase stretches to 3m long and boot space stands at 630 litres. Even the wheels are vast, 23-inch affairs.
‘We believe an important aspect of this show car is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line,’ says Audi’s head of design Marc Lichte.
New 2017 Audi Q8 concept’s interior showcases Audi’s latest tech, including touchscreens for all major functions. The displays adapt their readings depending on the number of passengers on board – saving vital screen space if there’s no need to showcase passenger climate control readings, for instance.
Audi describes the New 2017 Audi Q8 concept as a ‘foretaste of a production model.’ So it’s a kind of palate-cleanser show car, to get consumers used to the idea of a full Q8 production model coming in 2018, closely related to the existing Audi Q7.
The production Q8 will launch in 2018, built upon the same MLB Evo platform as the Q7 (and the Bentley Bentayga, and current Audi A4/A5). The concept car sports adaptive air suspension, which can raise or lower by 90mm while drive is sent to all four wheels.
The show car has a hybrid powertrain, powered by lithium-ion batteries with a capacity of 17.9kWh for an EV range of 37 miles. Recharging at a 7.2kW plug will take two and a half hours:
A plug-in hybrid version of the production will be available, CAR understands. It is expected to use a V6 diesel engine in Europe and a petrol V6 for export in further-flung markets. A further 4.0-litre V8 PHEV variant is possible, too.
Expect an autobahn-conquering SQ8 version a little further down the line, with the same brawny 400bhp+ V8 diesel as the Audi SQ7.
As the flagship Audi ‘Q’ series model, it’ll be even more luxurious than the Q7. Ingolstadt insiders suggest making Audi’s new range-topper an SUV is sounder business logic than building an equivalent A9, for example; Audi believes the Q8 will find as many as four times more customers than a more conventional coupe would manage.
BMW is working on an X7, which would be a direct competitor, as will Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation GL series.
2017 Mercedes AMG’s flagship GT sports car has been given a variety of updates across the range for 2017. 2017 Mercedes AMG GT revealed at the 2017 Detroit motor show, the refreshed GT range now includes a new AMG GT C Coupe variant, as well as upgrades to the pre-existing GT and GT S versions.
In a nutshell, the 2017 Mercedes AMG GT updates include:
Mercedes clearly thinks so. The recently introduced open-top Roadster variant had a power increase, and now the coupe models get the same upgrade. All cars use the same 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 as before.
The entry-level 2017 Mercedes AMG GT gets a 14bhp increase to 469bhp, and a 22lb ft increase in torque to 465lb ft. The 2017 Mercedes AMG GTS in turn has a 12bhp jump to 515bhp, and a 15lb ft torque hike to 494lb ft.
Much like the newly introduced 2017 Mercedes AMG GT C Roadster, the AMG GT C coupe joins the range between the GT S and the monstrous GT R range-topper.
The 2017 Mercedes AMG GT C mixes and matches the AMG GT parts bin to great effect, with the same wider rear track and swollen wheel arches as the 577bhp GT R, and rear-wheel steering as standard. It also adopts the same electronically controlled limited-slip differential and adaptive dampers as the GT S.
2017 Mercedes AMG GT C performance headlines:
The GT C launches initially in an ‘Edition 50’ limited run to mark half a century of AMG, with a choice of matt grey or matt white paintwork and gloss black exterior trim.
Rear wheel steering, as seen on the GT C and GT R, is now an option in the AMG GT S. Electric actuators replace the usual lower rear suspension links, twisting the rear wheels by up to 1.5 degrees to effectively shorten the wheelbase below 62mph, and lengthen it at higher speeds.
All GTs now get the same ‘active air management airpanel’ system as the GT R, with motorised vent covers in the front bumper which open when needed for cooling, and otherwise close to divert air to the underbody and improve drag. The oil cooler has been repositioned at the front wheelarches as part of the same cooling setup.
Ford Plugs In: Electric SUV and Hybrid Mustang on The Way – Ford has announced plans to launch 13 electrified vehicles in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the ever-popular Mustang and F-150.
So far, the company’s confirmed seven of the upcoming hybrid and EVs. The most notable is an all-electric SUV, with a claimed 300-mile range. It’s due to arrive in 2020 and will be available in Europe, North American and Asia.
Ford will be producing a plug-in hybrid version of the Transit Custom van, set to be offered in Europe in 2019, as well as a hybrid F-150 for North American and Middle Eastern markets. The pick-up, which is due in 2020, is stated to feature ‘powerful towing and payload capacity, and will operate as a mobile generator’.
There will also be an autonomous hybrid car by 2021, designed for ride sharing and hailing businesses, two new hybrid police pursuit vehicles and a – get this – hybrid Ford Mustang.
That’s right – the iconic fossil fuel-powered pony car will get a hybrid powertrain in 2020. It’ll be offered in North America to start with, and is mooted to deliver V8-like power but far more low-end torque.
Refreshingly, Ford says that one of its key aims for many of its new hybrids and EVs is to ‘make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive’. Here’s hoping that statement proves true, and that the new cars don’t focus solely on chasing incredulous low emissions and claimed fuel economy figures…
Ford will be investing over £570 million in new facilities at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant, in order to build the new models, creating some 700 new jobs over the course of the next four years.
The renewed focus on EVs and hybrids is part of Ford’s gradual shift towards becoming a ‘mobility’ company, providing vehicle services and technology – like route planning and EV fleet management – as well as the cars themselves.
Mark Fields, president and CEO of Ford, said: ‘As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better.
‘Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.’
Honda announced pricing for the British-built Civic hatchback today as well as availability. Starting this Monday, you’ll be able to walk into a Honda dealership and pick up a hatch 2017 Honda Civic for as low as $20,535. For that price, you can take home a base-level Civic LX with the 1.5-liter, turbocharged engine and a 6-speed manual transmission to channel the 174 horsepower and 167 lb-ft of torque to the pavement.
2017 Honda Civic engine is powerfull, stepping up to the Sport trim adds a dual-outlet center-mounted exhaust and brings the power total to 180 and torque up to 177. The price also jumps to $22,135. Adding the CVT to either trim adds an extra $800 and, although horsepower ratings remain unchanged, the torque output drops down to 162 on both models.
The highest 2017 Honda Civic hatchback trims are the EX, EX-L with navigation and Sport Touring, and they are all only available with a CVT. The EX and EX-L trims start at $23,635 and $26,135 respectively, and bring niceties including heated seats and dual-zone climate control.
The 2017 Honda Civic New Sport Touring trim tops the range and takes everything the EX-L and normal Sport trims have and adds red illuminated instruments, and a 540-watt 12-speaker sound system. Unlike the other trims, the Sport Touring model will not be available until later this year and pricing hasn’t been announced yet.
Compared with other hatchbacks in the compact car segment, the Civic hatch has a slightly higher starting price. Most of the competition starts at just under $20,000. However, the Civic does effectively top the charts for horsepower. The only car that beats it is the Mazda3 hatchback with the 2.5-liter engine, which produces 184 horsepower.
However, you’ll have to spend at least $26,280 to get that version of the 3. The next closest model is the VW Golf with 170 horsepower and a starting price of $20,715, and the rest of the competition produces 160 horsepower or less. So if you’re looking for some pep on a budget, the Civic looks like a solid choice, and if it drives like the sedan and coupe, it looks even better.