Audi has just shown off their concept for a new premium full-size SUV at the Detroit auto show. The Q8 concept is designed as a four-seat "luxury lounge", and is intended to give buyers a look at the production Q8 expected to debut next year.
Audi calls the Q8 an "elegant alternative to the robust presence of a classic sport utility vehicle." This is a premium vehicle, aimed more at providing "maximum luxury" than the utility part of the SUV equation. Audi says that the look is a "modern interpretation of the original Quattro car" with details like wide and flat C-pillars and wide flared arches calling back to the styling of the original 1980's Quattro.
The new look is a big change from current Audi styling as well: the octagonal grille is much larger, with a more aggressive shape compared with the rest of the line. It also doesn't fall into the trap of looking just like the rest of the lineup, something Audi could be accused of lately.
The Q8 concept is 5,020 mm long and is very much full-size; despite the sloping roofline, Audi claims there is comfortable seating with adequate head room for all four seats. Inside, the show car has an augmented reality head-up display, full-width touch screens, and race-car style sport seats for all passengers.
Powering the Q8 concept is a plug-in hybrid system. There is Audi's familiar 3.0 TFSI supercharged V6 producing 333 hp. Connected with that is an electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic that adds 134 hp and 243 lb-ft for a total of 442 hp and 516 lb-ft. Audi claims that it would achieve 2.3 L/100 km on the European fuel economy test cycle, and the 17.9 kWh battery gives an estimated 60 km range.
Where the power meets the road are massive 23-inch alloys with a show car-appropriate 305 mm wide tire. The ceramic brake discs are an equally huge 20-inches in diameter. The suspension is air-cushioned with adaptive damping to adjust compliance and ride height. Finally, quattro all-wheel drive routes power for maximum grip, and can distribute torque to assist cornering.
Audi says that the production version of the Q8 will be announced next year.