SPIED: 2018 Audi Q8 caught testing ahead of Detroit debut

Next week, the upcoming Audi Q8 will be making its debut at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. However, before we get to see it in the flesh, the Q8 was caught testing in the snow. We don’t own the spy shots, but they can be seen over at Autocar.

The upcoming Audi Q8 is clearly sportier looking than the Q7, while also seeming a bit longer. With a more sweeping roofline and sharply raked rear window, the Q8 is certainly more of a BMW X6 or Mercedes GLE Coupe competitor than upcoming BMW X7 or Mercedes-Benz GLS competitor. Audi is clearly going for a more aggressive look with the Q8.

Audi Q8 concept

Based on the new MLB platform, which also underpins the Audi Q7 and Bentley Bentayga, the upcoming Q8 will boast advanced lightweight chassis technology, such as aluminum, high-strength steel and other exotic materials. It will also boast the same sort of 48-volt electrical sub-system as the Audi SQ7 TDI and Bentley Bentayga. The Q8 will also feature OLED high-definition screens inside, for both the Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster and MMI infotainment system, as well as the most advanced autonomous driving aids Audi has to offer. Wearing the new Marc Lichte-inspired Audi design language, the Audi Q8 will look every bit as technologically advanced as it is.

According to Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, the Audi Q8 will be the brand’s flagship SUV but will also be something that enthusiasts will want to drive. “I could imagine an executive being driven to work every day in their A8 and then spending the weekend driving themselves in their Q8,” said Stadler. “The Q8 will have global appeal in all of the major markets – Europe, China, America, Russia and more, so we are very excited about it.” So it won’t just be a niche vehicle, like the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE-Coupe, but something of a flagship vehicle for the brand.

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Audi Q8 render
Audi Q8 render

The Audi Q8 will likely pack the typical range of Audi SUV engines. Its base engine will be the 3.0 TDI V6, with the brand’s 4.0 twin-turbo V8 being available and possibly the turbocharged 3.0 liter V6 from the Audi S5. There’s also almost certainly going to be a plug-in hybrid model as well as an Audi SQ8. The latter would probably boast the same triple-turbocharged V8 TDI engine as the SQ7.

We’re excited to see what the new Audi Q8 brings to the market, as it could be a huge car for Audi. It will bring a new flagship SUV to the brand’s lineup, as well as a new technological flagship and performance SUV. We’ll see in Detroit.

CategoriesQ8 Spy Shots
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.