Undoubtedly the most surprising and first biggest entry in this year’s NAIAS is Audi’s full-size coupe SUV concept. The Audi Q8 Concept is the company’s first venture into the segment after the Q7, which will soon be ready for production by 2018. According to Audi, the Q8 concept bears the traditional SUV’s functionality with the coupe’s sexy and sporty styling cues. And that’s exactly how we see it.
Given the Q8’s “coupe-like” design, it’s hard to imagine how Audi has managed to come up with enough space for the passengers. But then it could also be because of its long wheelbase that measures 3.0 metres. Either way, the cabin space looks very impressive.
The Q8’s powertrain uses a lithium battery with 104 prismatic cells. This battery pack comes with a 17.9kWh capacity by up to 37 miles electric range or a total of 621 miles of range. Though still a concept model, the Q8 has employed the production drive system’s hybrid technologies. In fact, Audi has equipped the coupe-SUV with a 443hp 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, electric motor and 8-speed automatic gearbox. As a result, the 516.3lb-ft of torque Audi Q8 can accelerate from 0-62mph in under 5.2 seconds with a top speed of up to 155mph.
The new concept is equipped with 23-inch alloy wheels and 305/35 set of tyres. To provide the coupe SUV with better dynamics and stability, Audi has been using the Quattro all-wheel drive system. This actually sends the power from the hybrid system to its four wheels for optimum control.
For its interiors, the new SUV now has the latest version of Audi’s virtual cockpit with higher resolution and more functional features. It is designed with 4 individual seats complete with head restraints and side bolsters for better comfort.
The ergonomically enhanced MMI infotainment screen now comes with horizontal interface for easier controls. Audi has also come up with the latest head-up display that is much larger than most traditional displays offered by other brands. This would help the driver navigate the road ahead as he can now see the information laid out systematically in front of him.
Above all, the new SUV is also light on fuel as it can only consume only as much as 2.3 litres of gasoline per 100 kilometres. But there’s more to say about the Q8; it comes with Audi’s new “predictive efficiency assistant”. This technology is used for the “route data” as well as the “Car-To-X” communications to help improve the powertrain’s performance. That way, drivers can make use of this function either by selecting “energy recuperation”, “coast” or “boost” mode for optimum efficiency.