Audi has released design sketches of the new Q8 coupé SUV, due to be unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show in January 2017. The “e-tron” moniker is discernible on the front view, suggesting the concept show car will be fitted with hybrid drive. Other engine options on production models are expected to include V6 and V8 diesel and petrol power.
Based on the same MLB platform as the latest Q7 and expected to have similar overall dimensions, the Q8 will have just four luxury seats. The near-production study represents a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coupé and the spaciousness of an SUV.
The study vehicle’s front end is imposing. The octagonal Singleframe is considerably wider than that in Audi’s current production models. It is positioned well forward, with three-dimensional sculpting. Many design elements of the Q8 concept are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro of the 1980s including the flat but very wide C-post, and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels. The balanced proportions give equal emphasis to the front and rear wheels.
Audi’s Head of Design Marc Lichte said ahead of the show premier: “With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige. What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”
First deliveries of the Q8 aren’t expected until 2018. Starting prices for the range in the UK are likely to be around the £55,000 plus mark. Much cheaper than a Bentley Bentayga and a lot better looking too, if these sketches are anything to go by.