2018 Audi Q8 has been spotted testing in the frozen climes of Scandinavia, showing the car in profile and some design details for the first time.
Despite the camouflage, coupé-like rear roofline and LED headlights and tail lights can be seen. A large, eight-corner, single-frame grille, which features a series of vertical strips of chrome, is also visible.
Up to now, the only preview of the new SUV has come from the Q8 concept, which is expected to be revealed at the Detroit motor show next week. The last production model will go on sale in 2018, as a rival to the BMW X6 and Range Rover Sport Coupe.
Audi boss Rupert Stadler described the Q8, as well as the company “flagship SUV” saying he will sit down next to the A8 motorway in the top of the range. “I could not imagine an executive being driven to work every day in their A8 and spend the weekend driving themselves in their Q8,” he said. “The Q8 will have global appeal in all the main markets in Europe, China, America, Russia and more, we are very excited about it.”
The Q8 will be an entry-level price of around £55,000 for the alternative cheapest, the 3.0 TDI.
The Q8 is one of the seven new SUV, the models currently under development at Audi and the launch is expected before the end of the decade. He joined the Q2, updated Q3 and the new Q5, a new T1 and T4, and the all-electric Q6, which was previewed by the Audi e-tron quattro concept at the 2015 Frankfurt motor show.
Audi’s intensive focus on the models SEEN in the world sales figures that showed a third of the cars sold by the Ingolstadt brand is native to its line-up of Q models.
The Q8 will be a sister model to the Q7 and to share its mechanical package. The new flagship SUV will come with an extensive range of petrol, diesel and hybrid powertrains. These include a secret new plug-in petrol-electric system that has been developed in partnership with Porsche and is claimed to give the Q8 an all-electric range of up to 31 miles.
Among the new Audi arsenal of options will be many of the advanced systems put in place for the fourth-generation A8, as a 48-volt electrical system, OLED high-definition digital displays and the latest in autonomous driving functions.
Stylistically, the Q8 is quite a radical departure from the current Q7. It prevents the standing position from his brother for a much more slender form developed by Audi design boss Marc Lichte, who has outlined his plans for significantly more sporty design of the last year.
As with the upcoming Q4 and Q6, Q8 is a five-door layout, with four conventional front-hinged doors and a large liftback-style tailgate to access the boot.
Sources privy to one of the first design pattern that has been revealed to Audi officials last year confirmed that the Q8 is close to the Q7 in length and in width, at 5050mm and 1970mm, respectively.
However, a more sporty roof reduces the Q8 height by some 50mm on his practice of the siblings, about 1690mm. However, Lichte believes that the boot space of the Q8 will be even eclipse rivals because the roof line drops dramatically around the C-pillar, the sense of space is reduced only at the end of the car length.
By comparison, Mercedes-Benz’s flagship SUV, the GLE, is 4900mm long, 2000mm wide and 1700mm high, while the Range Rover Sport has the respective dimensions of 4850mm, 1985mm and 1780mm – and of the same size, are expected for this car in coupe variant.
The light-weight of the platform
As with the Q7, Q8 is based around the latest evolution of Audi’s MLB platform, with a 2990mm wheelbase.
Reflecting the Q8 more sports in brief, Ingolstadt insiders said, it is also in line to receive lane widths that extend beyond the Q7, which are 1680mm to the front and 1690mm to the rear.
As with the Q7, the body structure of the Q8 is set to make a wide use of aluminium in an attempt to push low-end models below the 2000kg mark.
In addition to the weight saving measures include the selected used of carbon fiber in the non-load-bearing structures, as seen on the R8. Among the engines intended for the Q8 will be a new range of V6 and V8 petrol units.
These are currently in the final phase of development in a joint venture between Audi and Porsche, which bears the name of internal code KoVoMo (derived from the German word ” Konzern Vee Otto Motoren’). They are also used by Bentley and Volkswagen.
The new V6 and V8 are based around a 90deg architecture and will feature a common 500cc individual cylinder capacity, suggesting sizes of 3.0 and 4.0 liters.
Due to replace Audi and Porsche for the current V6 and V8 petrol units, the new engines will feature gas-powered turbochargers in the first stage of the production.
Audi insiders have hinted that the electric supercharger, supported by the Q8 of the 48V electrical system, can also be introduced at a later date.
The KoVoMo engine is claimed to be at the centre of a secret new plug-in petrol-electric hybrid system to the end of the introduction on the Q8 and the third generation of the Porsche Cayenne.
It is probably one of the two hybrid systems offered on the new Audi joining the diesel-electric system already announced for the audi Q7. Of the greatest importance for the market in the UK will be the diesel engine of the range.
Among the launch line-up will be at least two variants of the Audi’s familiar 3.0-litre V6 unit.
An athlete SQ8 model with the advanced triple-turbo 4.0-litre V8 diesel has recently revealed in the SQ7 is also provided. Inside, the Q8 will receive a revised version of the Q7 is an excellent cockpit with a more driver-oriented center console.
Unlike the seven-seat Q7, however, the Q8 will be available with a five-seat layout only.
In the framework of a comprehensive connectivity package, Audi works to provide over-the-air updates for future incarnations of its MMI (Multi Media Interface) infotainment system.
These include navigation with real-time updates via the ‘Here’ system developed in partnership with BMW and Mercedes-Benz’s parent company Daimler.
The Q8 is planned to be built at Volkswagen’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, alongside the existing Q7 and the successor models to the current second-generation Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg, due to be shown this year.
Additional reporting by Jim Holder