Audi’s new flagship SUV will be called the Q8, with a smoother profile than the Q7 and it has the Range Rover in its sights. Audi’s recent offensive on SUV products shows no sign of slowing down and the company has a new SUV for 2018, which will rank at the top of the range as a flagship and rival vehicle for the Range Rovers.
It’s hard to say which Audi has changed sides because of the camo swirly pattern, but it’s pretty obvious that the side mirrors are larger, while the wheel arches are not as pronounced as the concept. Likewise, Audi scrapped the reinforced rear fenders of the concept. No wonder really, but not so bad given the sporty design. More changes are in store around back, and the largest of them is in the taillights department. While the SUV concept has Porsche style lights that run the full width of the rear fascia, the test car seems to sport specific Audi units on either side. In addition, the bumper is less aggressive and does not have the sports diffuser seen on the concept. Other features that differentiate the production model include a simpler roof spoiler, narrower D-pillars and different wheels.
While the Q7 and Q8 will be a little different in terms of exterior design, both will share the same technology on the inside. I would not bet that the Q8 borrows too many features in the concept car, but a clean dashboard design and sports seats are definitely on the table. The spying photos confirm that it will get the same continuous ventilation band as the one currently seen in Audis, and the clean center stack and the digital instrument cluster seen in Q7. There is an infotainment screen at the top of the dashboard, and another screen in the center console, just above the gear lever area. The latter seems to provide access to the air conditioning system, among other functions, and its aluminum bottom section includes the engine start button.
Naturally, the Q8’s cabin will be filled with the best materials we can expect from a car manufacturer like Audi. The seats will be wrapped in leather and Alcantara in several colors and complemented by a host of aluminum and wood trim, including Beaufort walnut. The crossover will also benefit from a new MMI system that offers intelligent suggestions for different tasks, such as searching for specific song titles or navigation destinations. In terms of entertainment, the Q8 will likely come with one or two optional 10.1-inch tablets as rear seat monitors.
We do not know yet which engines will be offered in the Q8, but Audi introduced the new car with a hybrid e-tron engine plug-in specifically a three-liter TFSI engine with a 17.9-kWh lithium-ion battery. Audi says the dual-feed engine will produce a combined torque of 438 hp and 700 Nm.
Audi has not yet announced a specific timetable for the arrival of the Q8, but the word says that the SUV will arrive in time for the 2018 model year. According to Autocar, the Q8 will be sold from £ 50,000 in the UK United, the RS Q8 version being priced at £ 90,000.