After the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupé, the Q8 will soon come out of the house Audi an SUV tuned for optical dynamics. The Q8 Concept study now gives a first look at the Detroit Auto Show (January 22-2017, 8). The production version is expected for early 2018.
The SUV coupé is also the first model to be created entirely under the direction of the new head of design, Mark Lichte. The former VW designer has set out to visually emphasize the progressiveness of Audi. Most recently, the brand's design suffered from the strong family resemblance of the models and a lack of further development. The upcoming Q8 should change that.
Based on the Q7, Lichte and his team have put a car on its wheels that differs in all respects from the segment competitors BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupé. In contrast to these two, the Q8 above all does not have a typical coupé line. The roof is about 6 to 7 centimeters lower at the front than on the Q7, but then spans almost horizontally over the passenger compartment. On the C-pillar, there is then a sharp downward bend, just like on a hatchback. That, the trapezoidal C-pillar and, last but not least, the very short overhangs at the front and rear are supposed to awaken memories of the original Quattro, with which Audi once caused a sensation.
Not least because of this, Lichte has drawn the wheel arches to emphasize the Quattro drive. Its power comes from a plug-in hybrid based on a 3,0-liter V6 petrol engine. Together with the electric motor, this provides 330 W / 449 hp and a torque of 700 Nm, the electrical range is specified at 60 kilometers, the standard consumption is 2,3 liters per 100 kilometers. A similar drive is likely to be found in the production version in addition to a V6 and V8 diesel. Even a pure electric drive is conceivable. The former head of development Ulrich Hackenberg had already announced this for this car and had promised a range of up to 500 kilometers.
Audi is also breaking new ground in the interior. Smartphones are the model for the new operating system: the dashboard is characterized by seamlessly inserted black touch displays that only come to life when the car is started. There are no more switches with two or three exceptions. The head-up display, whose displays appear to be projected into the real environment, is also new. Audi speaks of augmented reality.
For the production version, the study should be slightly defused optically. The prices should start at around 70.000 euros and are thus significantly above the technically related Audi Q7. (Holger Holzer / SP-X)