2017 NAIAS: Audi pulls the sheets off of the new Q8 Concept

Ingolstadt’s finest reveals a new concept that previews the much-anticipated Q8 luxury full-size crossover at the 2017 NAIAS.

What’s going on?

Over the past year or so, Audi’s been hinting strongly at the prospect of an all-new full-size crossover. The idea is to have its new SUV sit above the Q7, which moved down to become the company’s midsize offering.

Now, Audi finally materialized a concept in the form of the Audi Q8 Concept. And they just unveiled it at the 2017 North American International Auto Show.

What’s cool about it?

Usually with crossovers, there isn’t much in the form of “cool.” But the Audi Q8 has some neat tech with its power and drivetrain.

The Q8 is helps Audi pave the way for its future line of crossover SUVs. That means the Audi Q8 Concept is designed to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLS and BMW’s impending and hotly-anticipated full-size crossover. Additionally, the Q8 features a whole range of new in-car technology, hinting at Audi’s intent to do away with analog controls and instrument clusters for large, digital touchscreens.

What powers it?

The Audi Q8 Concept’s plug-in hybrid power- and drivetrain are also its signature features. Propulsion begins with a traditional internal combustion engine. That engine is Audi’s latest 3.0L TFSI supercharged V6 with 333 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. An electric motor then assists the V6 providing an extra 100 kW. The result is a 0-62 mph time of just 5.4 seconds and a top speed limited to 155 mph. Because of the hybridization, fuel economy is also predictably high with the Q8 rated to return the equivalent to 102.3 US mpg.

The electric motor receives juice from a newly specially-designed lithium-ion battery pack with 104 prismaticc cells. Capable of 17.9 kWh, it enables the Q8 to travel on all-electric power for up to 37.3 miles. Combined range for the Q8 with both the gas and electric motors tops around 1000 kilometers or 621.4 miles.

Will it reach production?

Audi says the Q8 is virtually production ready with the final version launching in 2018. Pricing wasn’t announced, but we predict the Q8 will cost as much as a Mercedes-Benz GLS or similar, meaning its MSRP is likely to live above the $65,000 mark.

– By: Chris Chin

 


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Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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