A prototype Audi Q8 SUV-coupe has been caught undergoing on-road testing for the first time in images courtesy of AutoEvolution. Although it currently wears Q7 bodywork, it’s likely the chassis being tested is destined for application in Audi’s first SUV-coupe. Our exclusive render above shows how it could look. Read on for full details.
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Former Audi technical chief, Ulrich Hackenberg, has said the new car will be “more emotional and sporty than the Q7″ and that “the Q8 will be more coupe-like”. This suggests the new model could take the Q7’s rugged SUV platform and add a more stylish body, possibly inspired by the recent Prologue concept car.
These images show a prototype wearing rudimentary wheelarch extensions bolted over the rear wheels. This may be to cover a wider rear track than the standard Q7 – a feature that could help improve cornering stability as well as give the car a sportier and more aggressive stance.
The Q8 isn’t expected to reach UK showrooms until 2018 but, when it does, it will probably be priced to compete with the likes of the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe. Entry-level models could cost between £50,000 and £60,000. Should a high-performance SQ8 model be launched, it could set you back as much as £90,000.
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Audi Q8 SUV latest news (updated June 2016)
A leaked photo from rpiwarren not only shows Audi is developing a V6 version of the R8 supercar, but that it’s also planning to launch a new model called the Q8. No official images of this coupe-inspired SUV exist but our render above shows what it could look like. Read on for everything we know about this new range-topping, high-riding SUV coupe…
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New Audi Q8 styling
The new Audi Q8 will reportedly be based on the Q7 platform, albeit with a coupe-inspired body rather than a boxy SUV design. The coupe SUV market has grown steadily over recent years, both BMW and Mercedes now offer sporty off-roaders in the form of the X4, X6 and GLE, and now Audi seems keen to join the party.
The Q8’s front is likely to retain the current generation of Audi’s angular design language with signature LED headlights and a large metal-coloured grille. The sportier coupe bodystyle could result in the front and rear bumpers being given a more aggressive look than the relatively understated Q7, however.
New Audi Q8 interior
We don’t expect the interior to depart too drastically from the current Q7 design that has been very highly praised by critics. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit system will certainly be fitted to some models, at the very least as an optional extra, and the Q8’s interior will doubtless feature leather-trimmed seats and the brand’s traditionally robust build quality.
The main difference between the Q8 and Q7 on the practicality front will probably be distinctly limited rear headroom as a result of the former’s coupe bodyshape. The Q8’s handsome sloping roofline will dramatically cut into the available boot space and taller rear-seat passengers may not be quite as comfortable over longer journeys.
New Audi Q8 engines and driving
The Q8 will likely come with the same selection of engines as the Q7 on which it’s based. The entry-level model could come with a 3.0-litre 215hp diesel engine although the more powerful 268hp version of the same unit has a better blend of fuel economy, refinement and performance.
A electric e-tron hybrid version could launch using a combination of a diesel engine and a powerful electric motor. It will almost certainly be more expensive to buy than the standard diesel model but a Q8 e-tron will likely be faster, more economical to run and potentially free to tax. An SQ8 version, using the same 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 diesel as the recently launched SQ7, is also very likely.
New Audi Q8 price
We expect the Q8 to be priced to compete with the BMW X6 and, as a result, it could cost approximately £52,000 to £68,000 depending on engine and trim. If an SQ8 model is put into production, it will probably cost more than £70,000.
New Audi Q8 release date
Thanks to the leaked image above we can say that Audi plans to release the Audi Q8 in 2018 but we will have to wait for official confirmation from Audi before we know the specific date. We can expect to see a concept or preview vehicle shown to the public before the end of 2017, however.
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If you can’t wait until 2018 for the Q8, there’s a great selection of new cars available for sale. Choose one that’s perfect for you using our car configurator tool. If you’re not sure which car to buy, our car chooser tool is here to help.