Mercedes have their own GLE Coupe, BMW has the X6 leaving Audi the only luxury automaker without an SUV. However, this is set to change as the automaker has launched its flagship SUV albeit in concept form. It’s a full-size SUV that the automaker says will offer “maximum prestige.” Audi prefers to call it a coupe. The new model, dubbed the “2018 Audi Q8 Concept” will slot above the Q7. Although the X6 and GLE Coupe will be its main rivals, the 2018 Audi Q8 is bigger than them and the automaker intimates that once it hits the streets, the Q8 will inaugurate a new segment altogether. Its exterior design takes Audi’s design language to another level. To some extent, the Q8 exterior profile, particularly the muscular front fascia, vented rear haunches are based on the 1980s Quattro coupe that was a darling on the tracks. Read along for more information:
2018 Audi Q8 Exterior
As said earlier, the model has a similar footprint as the Q7. It stretches 5 meters long with a 3-meter wheelbase. However, it stands 40mm lower than the Q7. The concept has a space for 4 passengers but I understand the production model will accommodate five passengers. At the front, the Q8 flaunts a single-frame octagonal grille that is flanked by matrix LED headlights. The grille has a honeycomb insert. There are also geometric lower inserts. These give the model a very aggressive stance. The front fascia also features an aluminum trim that highlights its sporty yet intimidating look. The front end also features dynamic LED turn signals, a feature also seen at the rear.
On the sides, you will notice the model’s squat greenhouse along with frameless side windows. Its side mirrors have multi-faceted edges while the doors are deeply sculpted. The model rides on 23-inchaluminum wheels that are dressed in 305/35 tires. The wheels are housed in double-arched wheel wells. The side profile also features aluminum rocker panels with the name” Quattro” inscribed below the rear doors.
The rear features LED taillights that stretch across its width, a feature Audi says will define its e-tron vehicles. The roofline terminates after the rear doors. The rear also features spoilers that frame the rear window glass. Wide roof pillars flank the window glass.
2018 Audi Q8 Interior
To access, the cabin of the Q8, you only need to touch its door and viola; the door opens to a stunningly luxurious and futuristic cabin. The Q8 will accommodate four individuals on seats upholstered in premium-grade Nubuk and Nappa leather. The cabin also offers a sufficient cargo space of 22.2 cubic feet.
The dash is horizontally oriented and it also descends in steps to a floating panel that hovers between the front seats which are by the way sport-bolstered. The floating panel houses the vehicle’s transmission shifter. Other vehicle controls are housed within the model’s “black panel” touchscreen that is mounted on the dash before the driver. This “black panel” trim is also featured in front of the front passenger and on both front door panels for a cohesive look.
In addition, the cabin also features a 3D grain trim, abstract fabric, high-gloss carbon as well as brushed aluminum to make the cabin as premium as they come. You will also find graduated shades of gray from the dark headliner to the model’s light silver leather wrapped seats as well as the center console. The cabin is also hooked up with an LED light trim and ambient lighting that makes the cabin a sight to behold at night.
Engine Specs and performance
The Q8 Concept is a plug-in electric hybrid, which means it is powered by an e-tron hybrid drivetrain. The unit features a 3.0 L, turbocharged V-6 that produces 328 horses and a 100kWh electric motor for a total of 443 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The system is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that channels power to all wheels via Audi’s torque vectoring Quattro AWD system. The power enables the model to accelerate to 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds and can reach a top speed of 155 mph. Extra power is stored in a 19.9 kWh lithium-ion electric motor mounted at the rear. It has an all-electric range of 37 miles. The battery takes 2.5 hours to recharge. In terms of fuel economy, the drivetrain gets you 122 mpg.
The model also features Audi Drive Select as standard; this system offers three modes i.e. Hybrid, EV and Battery Hold. The latter helps conserve electric vehicle operations for specific driving conditions. It also features a stop/start system and a GPS-based Predictive Efficiency Assistant to optimize the vehicle’s power output. Stopping power comes from 20-inch ceramic brake discs.
Price and release date
Being a concept, no prices were given by Audi. However, the production model is likely to go on sale in 2018. Rumor has it that the model will be around £10,000 more expensive that its sister, the Q7. As such, entry-level models will have an MSRP of around $61,500 (£50,000) with top models setting you back over $80,000 (£65,000).