Audi Q8 will be Ingolstadt’s most important car

Audi fans typically get most excited about cars with “S” or “RS” badges on the back and aren’t usually much into cars that wear “e-tron” badges. There’s good reason for that, as Audi has always had its place in the world of motorsport and always developed great performance cars, so it has a large following of enthusiasts who enjoy that brand’s performance pedigree. We’re some of those enthusiasts, Audi fans whose veins are filled with petrol. However, we’d argue that the most important car for the Ingolstadt-based brand will be one in which petrol takes a backseat to electricity — the Audi Q8.

Recently unveiled at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the Audi Q8 Concept put Audi’s latest and most impressive technology on display. The Q8 Concept is a near production-ready variant of the Audi e-tron Quattro Concept that debuted last year. It also boasts the most impressive stats of any hybrid SUV.

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The plug-in hybrid powertrain that will motivate the Audi Q8 will be comprised of a gasoline combustion engine and an electric motor. Said engine will develop 333 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. Total system power, with the electric motor — powered by a 17.9 kWh battery — will be 442 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That will help get the Audi Q8 from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds, which is about Audi A5-quick. Not bad for a massively heavy hybrid SUV. It will also be capable of 37 miles of pure electric range.

So not only will it be extremely fuel efficient and provide decent electric range but it will be fast, fun and have a superb overall range. Thanks to it being a hybrid and not a fully electric car, it will be a viable option for all car buyers. Add in its great looks, stunning interior and impressive technology and the Q8 will be a big hit among luxury SUV buyers. It should sell quite well among Audi buyers, as it will provide an alternative to the usual luxury SUV that’s both sportier and more fuel efficient. This, in turn, will open more and more customers up to electric mobility.

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The last part may not excite Audi fans. Electric cars aren’t what most car enthusiasts want to hear about but they’re becoming increasingly important. EVs and hybrids are the future of the auto industry, the future of our worldwide mobility. So Audi developing a genuinely groundbreaking and exciting hybrid SUV will be the most important car Audi has developed in the past 20 years.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.