Audi is a bit behind on the coupe-like SUV game. BMW and Mercedes-Benz each have a few. BMW has three, the X2, X4 and X6 and Mercedes-Benz has two, the GLC Coupe and GLE Coupe. Audi only has one, the Audi Q2 and it’s barely an SUV Coupe. So the folks in Ingolstadt have been working on a new one, one that will act as the brand’s new flagship — the Audi Q8.
It’s not a secret that Audi has been working on a Q8 for some time now. The Audi Q8 Sport Concept showed off what the brand was planning for the new flagship SUV and it seems to have stayed quite true to that concept. Some spy video has recently surfaced, showing off a production-ready Audi Q8 running around the Nurburgring, wearing full camouflage.
It looks quite good, with its sweeping roofline, flared rear fenders and fat C-pillar. When the Audi Q8 Sport Concept debuted, Audi reps were saying that its styling was a subtle throwback to the original Audi Quattro. While it’s subtle, we can see what Audi was talking about. The wide C-pillar is the first hint but also its stance, large wheel wells and squared-off rear haunches. But it also points to the future, as it features many of Audi’s new design cues, such as the massive Singleframe grille, angry headlights and slim OLED taillights.
The Audi Q8 will sit above the Q7 in Audi’s lineup, being both more premium and sportier. Though, it likely won’t be as luxurious. Where the Q7 is designed to be a full-sized luxury SUV, the Q8 will lean more on the performance side of things. It will handle better, be more stylish and more aggressive. Though, it will come with even more tech than the Q7, likely being even more high-tech than the new Audi A8, making it more premium and expensive.
As far as powertrains, expect all Q8 models to be MHEVs (Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle), meaning they will all have what’s called a BAS (Battery Alternator Starter) to help power the car with the engine off, during coasting at high-speeds. All of them will also have a 48-volt electrical subsystem to power the BAS and other special equipment, like the active anti-roll bars found in the Audi SQ7. Engine options will likely range from the brand’s 3.0 liter turbocharged V6, from the Audi S4, the new 4.0 liter twin-turbocharged V8, from the Porsche Panamera, and a plug-in hybrid variant as well.
There’s also the possibility of an Audi SQ8 or even an RS Q8, as this is the more performance-oriented SUV in the lineup. We can’t wait to see what Audi has in store for the Q8, although we’re going to have to wait a couple of years.