Audi Q8 Ultra Luxury SUV Concept to Debut in Detroit
Line-Topping SUV Previews Production Model
The SUV market is simultaneously expanding both upward and downward, as witnessed by the rapid proliferation of B-segment crossovers on the lower end and ever-more-opulent luxury models on the high end. The luxury SUV realm is about to expand by one, with Audi’s introduction of the Q8 Concept. The world “concept” is a nebulous term in the automotive world and can mean anything from a neutrino-powered levitating orb to a barely disguised preview of an upcoming production model. The Q8 falls squarely in the latter category, as the company has made no secret of its plans to build a flagship SUV model above the Q7.
The Q8 Concept is a four seater, indicating a spacious and lavishly equipped rear seat area. This will be an especially big selling point in China, one of Audi’s key markets, where many luxury vehicles are chauffeur-driven. No details were initially given of the Q8’s powertrain. We expect the concept will employ some sort of plug-in hybrid system, likely paired to a gas V-6 engine. Audi’s e-tron electric concepts have typically had a distinctive grille design. The open grille design of the Q8 indicates some sort of internal combustion engine beneath the hood. The production Q8, when it debuts in 2019 or 2020, could be offered with a fully electric drivetrain to battle the Tesla Model X and other all-electric luxury crossovers coming from premium brands. The Q8 concept will be shown January 9, 2017, at the Detroit show.