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Audi Q8 concept heading for Detroit

'Near production' concept previews coupe SUV range-topper

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The Audi Q8 concept will debut at the North American International Auto Show next month, previewing a future range-topping model for the German brand’s SUV line-up.

The concept is described by Audi as a ‘near-production study’ that ‘represents a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coupé and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV.’

The Audi Q8 is also stated to be ‘unlocking a new segment’ though it will clearly be targeting full-size coupe SUVs such as the BMW X6.

Details of the concept are currently scarce though it is said to have a four-seater layout, despite the large exterior dimensions, so suggesting a luxury model.

In concept form the Audi Q8 certainly has an imposing front end – its brand signature octagonal single frame grille is considerably wider than in current production cars from Audi, while the car is also said to have many design elements harking back to the original Audi quattro of the 1980s, notably the very wide rear screen pillars.

Audi-Q8-Concept-Front

According to the brand’s Head of Design Marc Lichte the Audi Q8 concept is “a new spearhead within our Q model line” with a design that 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,” Lichte says.

The production Q8 is expected on sale in 2018 and its powertrain options are likely to include a hybrid – the sketches of the concept released ahead of the car’s debut in Detroit on 9th January show it wearing e-tron badges.

The latest from The Car Expert

Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.