Audi’s Q8 is scheduled to be previewed at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show on January 9th in its concept form, but it seems that the German automaker is anxious about this one, and thanks to that we managed to get a hold of some testing spy shots. The new Q8 is supposed to be a range-topping SUV which is due for delivery to the markets around the world sometime in 2019, which means it will arrive as a 2023 model.
These photos came with some info from the photographer who states that the Q8 is similar in dimensions to the Q7. This piece of info instantly erases the smaller e-tron electric SUV as a possible protagonist on theses shots. Details that are saying that the size of the Q8 and Q7 are similar make absolute sense because thanks to some earlier reports these two are going to share the same Volkswagen Group’s MLB platform designed to host front-wheel-drive and longitudinally-mounted engines.
Thanks to some previous teaser photos and now these spy shots, we can see that the Q8 will offer coupe-like stance that tends to pull toward a sporty profile, which is even further helped with wider tire track. The Q8 will have something more when it comes to the design cues, and that is its more pronounced grille which is different than on any other Audi SUV. It will borrow the teardrop shape for headlights, which we first saw on the current A4 sedan, but all that aside, the company executives really have to ask themselves will all that be enough in the endless sea of new SUVs?! When Audi designed this, it had a couple of rivals in their crosshairs like BMW X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and Land Rover Range Rover Sport, and now they will have to wait and see how will the Q8 stack up against them.
The base powertrain in the US is expected to be a turbocharged 3.0 L V6 that will be capable of churning out 354 HP and 369 lb-ft of torque, and it is going to be paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to ground through an all-wheel drive. The option that will top this one will be the e-tron plug-in hybrid model that will mean pairing a turbocharged 2.0 L inline four with an electric motor for a combined output of 367 HP and 516 lb-ft. This is a similar setup that we have seen on the Q7 e-tron sold outside the U.S.
As it goes with these things, it is possible for German car maker to decide and to offer more powerful variations in the form of SQ8 or maybe even RS Q8 model. We expect to see 4.0-liter V8 twin-turbo diesel unit that we know from SQ7 TDI capable of producing 429 hp and incredible 663 lb-ft of torque. The ultimate one will borrow heart from the Porsche Panamera Turbo which is the twin-turbocharged 4.0 L V8 that is capable of offering a killer 550 HP and 567 lb-ft.