In 2015, Audi announced that it plans to launch in 2019 its new Q8 flagship SUV, as part of its plans to provide a solid foundation for its growth path. Now, Audi is inching closer to that plan as it disclosed its intentions to unveil a concept of the Q8 SUV at the upcoming 2017 North American International Auto Show (a.k.a. Detroit Auto Show) on January 9 to 22.
According to the German premium carmaker, the Audi Q8 Concept is a near-production study representing a fusion of the emotional styling of a coupé and the roominess of an SUV. The carmaker said the Audi Q8 concept would be a key to a new segment in the full-size SUV category.
So far, Audi has provided two official renders of the new Audi Q8 concept – one showing the front end while the other parades the side profile (although it is a bit shadowy) of the SUV prototype. These two renderings are aimed at spicing things up and increasing the excitement leading up to the official unveiling of the Audi Q8 concept at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.
When Audi announced in 2015 its plans to introduce the new Q8 SUV in 2019, the premium carmaker also said it was working on its first full-electric SUV, which would be a rival for the Tesla Model X crossover. That would be the e-tron SUV – sans any specific model designation – as confirmed by Audi chairman and chief executive Rupert Stadler. Interestingly, the render of the Q8 Concept’s front end shows the “e-tron” lettering on the front number. This could mean that the Audi Q8 Concept would be an all-electric SUV or an electric version of the Q8 is also on the way.
As the frontend render shows, Audi Q8 Concept features an evolution of Audi’s octagonal single-frame – with 3D sculpting -- that is now wider than those seen on the carmaker’s current production vehicles. This grille is bordered by chrome frame with Audi’s four-ring logo – also in chrome – positioned centrally on the upper section of the grille. Both sides of the bumper are home to large air vents. Meanwhile, the other rendering shows the Audi Q8 Concept donning flared shoulders above the wheels as well as a flat and wide C-pillar. Of course, the side profile of the Audi Q8 Concept reveals its coupe-like proportions yet it has a high-ride configuration typical of SUVs.
According to Marc Lichte, Head of Design at Audi, the Audi Q8 concept is the carmaker’s new top honcho within its Q model line thanks to its design that strongly exudes both prestige and sportiness.
As for further details about the new Audi Q8 Concept, these will be known once the German brand officially unveils it at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show.