We love the designs of both Q8 concepts seen so far: the original in blue at Detroit and this new Q8 Sport Concept from Geneva and NY auto shows. The bodycolor intake flares in front are gorgeous, the new nose and tail are shockingly cool and fender flares always win friends. We only dislike its slightly nerdy roofline in profile.
After the deeply dull A4/A5 and Q5/Q7 refreshes lately, Audi is showing some design elan with their new Q8 concepts. This four-seat plugin hybrid (Q8) promises supreme comfort for four. A platform share with the Q7 moves the back seat rearward to focused on legroom and reclined comfort for just the second row. No third row, then.
Q8 Sport is similar but uses a mild hybrid system versus the full PHEV setup shown on the blue Q8.
What this luxury/sport SUV indicates is that Audi's model expansion has yet to slow down at all. We might even see a Q9 before the dust settles! An e-Tron PHEV Q8 is a certainty over this platform's lifespan, with a full EV theoretically possible to rival Model X. But slower and with less range? Audi may push a full EV/SUV flagship to 2022.
The new Q8 begins production in 2018, likely arriving around August of that year to the USA as a 2019 model.
2017 Audi Q8 Sport Concept
2017 Audi Q8 Concept - Live Photos
2017 Audi Q8 Concept
Wraps taken off striking concept that will propel Audi into a new segment next year
- Luxurious space for four, new control concept with large touchscreens
- Plug-in hybrid with 330 kW and 700Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque
- Production model based on concept to launch in 2018
- 37-mile range on purely electric power, with a total range of up to 621 miles
Ingolstadt/Detroit, January 9, 2017 – Dynamic, highly efficient and extremely comfortable: Audi is presenting the Audi Q8 concept at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). Serving as a prelude to a production model that will be introduced in 2018, it combines the spaciousness typical of an SUV with the elegant lines of a coupe and will tap into a new segment for Audi by offering an elegant alternative to the classic design of the full-size class. Propulsion is provided by a powerful, yet highly efficient plug-in hybrid with 330 kW of system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque.
At 5.02 metres long, the Audi Q8 concept is an impressive presence in the full-size class. Thanks to a wheelbase of three metres, the show car offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roofline, even the rear-seat passengers enjoy ample head and shoulder room. The control concept uses large touchscreens in the cockpit and is rounded out by an expanded version of the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact-analogue head-up display. The latter uses intelligent augmented reality technology that merges the real and the virtual worlds.
“The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG.
“With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.”
Dynamic lines and digital Matrix laser technology: the front end
The distinguishing feature at the front of the 2.04-metre-wide Audi Q8 concept is the octagonal Singleframe with honeycomb insert. It is sculpted and significantly wider than in today’s Audi production models. Six upright double bars structure the radiator grille while simultaneously emphasising its height. A mask painted in a contrasting colour frames the grille. The outer air inlets have a deep and dynamic appearance like the intakes of a turbine. A distinctive aluminium blade forms the bottom edge of the bumper.
The flat, wedge-shaped headlights of the Audi Q8 concept are integrated progressively into the exterior and connected from a design perspective to the surrounding air inlets. The individual lighting units have glass covers, but the headlights as a whole are open. This creates the impression that they are free in space. The aluminium housing for the headlights carries over the sculpture of the Singleframe. The clear geometry gives the Audi Q8 concept an unmistakable look. An x-shaped, blue laser light signature highlights the digital Matrix laser technology used for the low and high beams. Broken down into more than one million pixels, their light can illuminate the road in high resolution and with precise control. Located below the edge of the bonnet is a narrow LED light guide that emits the light for the dynamic turn signals and the daytime running lights. It wraps around the outside of the headlights, where its ribs create an innovative e-tron signature. All lighting functions are dynamic.
Athletic and powerful: the side view
The silhouette of the Audi technology study also evokes tautness. The doors do not have window frames, thus contributing to the flat roofline. The Audi Q8 concept is 1.70 metres tall. All lines on the body climb upward dynamically toward the rear – the bottom edge of the side window, the shoulders, the dynamic line and the sill lines. The surfaces of the wings, doors and side panels are athletically curved.
The lower section of the doors forms a deep fillet. Other design features are the quattro logo milled below the rear doors and also the exterior mirrors with their multifaceted edges. The doors are opened via touch sensors. As soon as the door detects hand contact, it opens easily and swings to a defined opening angle.
The extremely flat and very wide C-pillar is reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro from the 1980s, as are the strongly flared shoulders over the wheels. This places the concept car in a logical line with the show cars of the Audi Prologue series. The balanced proportions of the Audi Q8 concept emphasise the front and rear wheels equally – that too is typical quattro. The strongly accentuated wheel arches feature a double design. The sill region of the doors shines in brushed aluminium for an intriguing contrast to the show car’s Bombay blue paint finish.
Flat and compact: the rear
A long roof edge spoiler shades the extremely flat rear window of the Audi concept car. A double spoiler lip below the window forms a distinctive contour on the power luggage compartment hatch. The strip of lights extending over the entire width of the rear end is part of a distinctive e-tron light signature. It serves as both the tail and brake light as well as the dynamic turn signals. The four outer lighting elements are set in aluminium blades and reflect the semantics of the headlights. The individual elements of the tail lights are also open, and all lighting functions are dynamic.
The license plate of the Audi Q8 concept is located on a black trim strip between the lights – a typical feature of the Audi Ur-quattro. The diffuser is made of aluminium; its clasp of high-gloss Carbon Atlas. This combination of materials is also used around the headlights.