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New 2018 Audi Q8 SUV: Specs, engines and release date

New Audi Q8 flagship SUV l boasts a more rakish profile than the Q7, and it has the Range Rover in its sights.

Audi’s extensive range of SUVs is set to grow yet again with the addition of the Q8 – a flagship 4x4 set to be released in 2018 and rival the likes of the Range Rover. The all-new Q8 was previewed at two of the biggest motor shows of 2017, most recently at Geneva and prior to that at Detroit. Based on the exterior design of the concept car, it will be a large yet coupe-esque SUV (similar in concept to the Mercedes GLE and BMW X6), nestling into the range just above the Q7. Speaking of the Q7, the Q8 will be built alongside the large SUV in Slovakia, at Audi’s Bratislava plant.

It will also have roughly the same footprint as its stablemate – giving it a wheelbase of three metres and a total length of over five, however, it is expected to be 40mm closer to the ground. To handle the luggage of its occupants, the Q8 has a 630-litre boot, which if benchmarked against the Range Rover’s may appear a little small, as it is 279-litres short.

The tapered rear end and sloping roof line which were present on the concept, meant it had just four seats, however, an extra seat will join the rear of the production version before first deliveries are taken in 2018.

Also included on the concept was an e-tron plug-in hybrid powertrain, which uses a 3.0-litre TFSI engine teamed with an electric motor and 17.9kWh lithium-ion battery pack. All this results in an claimed output of 438bhp and 700Nm of torque.

Audi states a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds and the car has a top speed of 155mph, while it emits 53g/km of CO2. Power is delivered via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive.

There’s a good chance the petrol-electric powertrain will be made available in the production model, because Audi says: “Their use in the study demonstrates their importance once again.” On electric power alone, the Q8 concept can travel up to 37 miles, and the lithium-ion battery takes two and a half hours to fully recharge.

Those wanting more performance will eventually be able to upgrade to an Audi SQ8. The high performance model is likely to use the same 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 diesel as the SQ7, developing 429bhp. When asked about the SQ8 in Detroit, Audi’s board member for sales and marketing, Dietmar Voggenreiter said, “That’s something I would like to do.”

The concept adopts a wider version of Audi’s single-frame octagonal grille, which is flanked by new matrix LED headlamps. The Q8 concept rides on 23-inch alloy wheels and has carbon-ceramic brakes.

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Posted on 21st November 2017 at 11:25 AM

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