Audi’s new concept
Is it a coupe? Is it an SUV? The Audi Q8 Concept is both
This German metal concept will break segments.
A udi recently unveiled its Q8 Concept at the North American International Auto Show, and it’s a preview of the German carmaker’s future Q flagship that will belong to a new segment: full-size luxury SUV coupe. At 5,020mm long, it is only 32mm shorter than its more practical Q7 sibling. But at only 1,700mm tall, the sleeker Q8 sits 41mm lower, at least in concept form.
Now if you’re a fan of the styling, here’s some good news for you: This hints at Audi’s next-generation SUV design language. Up front, it gets a much wider, bolder, and more angular version of the company’s single frame grille, flanked here by very slim R8-esque headlamps that use futuristic laser lighting technology. A multitude of intakes on the front fascia contribute to a very powerful and aggressive face. The sides get wide and curvy front fenders, and broad rear haunches for a muscular look. The sharply sloped D-pillars and the angular rear end were inspired by the iconic ’80s Quattro Coupe; if you think you’ve seen modern iterations of these before, Audi did a couple of tribute coupe concepts earlier in this decade.
Inside, the cabin gets a futuristic interpretation of the Q7’s horizontal dashboard layout. It’s got a heads-up display, a fully digital cluster, and multiple touchscreens that have replaced several buttons and control knobs for a neat and streamlined layout. The Q8 being a flagship Q model, what it lacks in practicality it makes up for in tech, comfort and luxury. Of note, there are four leather-clad bucket seats and a touchscreen for the rear passengers.
To ensure this beast has the performance to match its sporty looks, it gets a 3.0-liter turbopetrol V6, good for 333hp and 500Nm, as well as a 100kW electric motor, for a combined system output of 443hp and 700Nm. The combination yields 0-100kph in 5.4sec, and a top speed of 250kph—while still delivering an impressive 43.5km/L, or so Audi claims. The driver can also choose from three selectable drive modes, namely, Hybrid, EV and Battery Hold; the last one saves the battery’s charge for later use. As expected from the Ingolstadt-based carmaker, the Q8 comes standard with Quattro all-wheel drive, which features wheel selective torque control.
Audi’s German archenemies are definitely watching closely to see how this type of vehicle will be received by the public. Expect the production Q8 to hit Euro showrooms sometime next year.
Same Audi goodness — a flat-bottom wheel and a minimalist approach