The 2017 Detroit Auto Show was ground-zero as Audi declared war on Teutonic vehicles like the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe with its newly unveiled Q8 concept.
A dash of elegance
Set to be launched in 2018, the German marque’s new flagship model will wear a coupe-like jacket and sport roughly the same dimensions as its more conventional Q7 SUV sibling.
The point of the Q8, according to Audi, is to add some elegance to the robust presence of the classic full-sized SUV. It will accomplish this by incorporating what it calls “the emotional lines of a coupe.”
A tad of practicality
The cabin revolves around the theme of flowing lines and luxury. The centre console that houses a shift-by-wire lever gives the distinct appearance that it’s floating atop the gearbox housing. The horizontally-orientated media and control centre monitors are seamlessly integrated into the facia for a minimalist effect.
But how practical will this SUV/coupe be? According to the German carmaker, the boot of the concept, complete with its “emotional lines”, is still capable of gulping 630 litres of luggage. Not bad, but just for comparison, the Q7 can handle 890 litres.
The figures don’t lie
While the Q8 concept looks aggressive, it’s quite the eco-warrior. The Audi sports a plug-in-hybrid system that combines the service of a 3.0-litre TFSI petrol engine, that produces 245kW, with an electric motor that generates 100kW of power. Torque generated is 500Nm and 330Nm respectively.
Combined, the picture looks even more rosy. The hybrid powertrain produces a staggering 330kW of power and 700Nm of torques, transferred to the road using an eight-speed tiptronic gearbox.
Acceleration from standstill to 100km/h is effortlessly taken care of in just 5.4 seconds. You can keep your right foot down, until you reach its electronically governed top-speed of 250km/h.
This performance can also be enjoyed guilt-free, with an electrical range of 60 kilometres on a full charge, while Audi claims that its flagship SUV will only consume an average 2.3-litres for every 100km.