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Detroit show: Audi Q8 targets Range Rover

Large luxury SUV range-topper will launch in 2018.

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When the Audi Q8 launches in 2018, it will become the German brand’s flagship SUV model. And the looks of the newcomer have been revealed at Detroit on a ‘near-production’ concept.

The Audi Q8 is expected to propel the brand into a new luxury market taking on the likes of the Range Rover. It is a large machine with striking exterior lines in a coupé style.

The car will certainly make its presence felt – it sits on an enormous 23-inch wheels, with ceramic brake discs of 20-inch diameter behind them. A notable design element is the wide, flat rear screen pillar, continuing the style seen recently on the new Q2 mini SUV.

Four-seat interior

Inside four seats are fitted, the intention being to offer what Audi describes as an ‘extremely comfortable’ experience. A wheelbase of some three metres frees up interior space while rear-seat passengers are promised ample head and shoulder room despite the coupé looks.

The driver’s surroundings are distinguished by large touchscreens, expanding the current Audi virtual cockpit, plus an analogue head-up display. All are incorporated into a gloss black wraparound cockpit design.

The Audi Q8 will make use of a plug-in hybrid powertrain combining a 333hp 3-litre TFSI petrol engine and a 100kW electric motor. Total power is 450hp with 700Nm of torque., which produces a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds.Audi Q8 02

Total potential range is quoted at 621 miles, with 37 miles possible on purely electric power. The Q8 will also return combined cycle fuel economy of 122mpg and CO2 emissions of 53g/km.

The production Audi Q8 is due to go on sale in 2018 with a likely starting cost of at least £60,000.

Audi Q8 03

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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.