2018 Audi Q8 Concept

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).

Competition

The 2018 Audi Q8 will compete with the likes of
Mercedes GLE Coupe, BMW X6
as well as the
Range Rover Sport.