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.
So is the New 2017 Audi Q8 a production car, or just a concept?
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:
Engine 3.0 V6 TFSI plug-in hybrid
Power 333bhp (petrol), 100kW (electric motor)
Torque 368lb ft (petrol), 243lb ft (electric motor)
Total outputs 442bhp, 516lb ft (combined)
Top speed 155mph
CO2 emissions 53g/km
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.
New 2017 Audi Q8 Rivals?
BMW is working on an X7, which would be a direct competitor, as will Mercedes-Benz’s next-generation GL series.