After adding the Q2 at the bottom of its SUV offerings, Audi is currently gearing up to introduce a new flagship for the “Q” family. Seen here in near-production form and still with plenty of camouflage on its coupe-SUV body, the first-ever Q8 was spotted at the end of a testing round. Thankfully, it had the passenger door open to reveal most of its interior.
It comes as no surprise the layout bears a striking resemblance to the tech-heavy dashboard of the all-new A8. We can easily see the dual touch panels, one for the MMI infotainment system and the other for the climate control settings and other functions. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is the continuous vent design of the Q8 in line with the look of the Q7 whereas the sedan gets two central air vents with electrically operated shutters that open and close.
Other common traits between the two Audi models carrying the highest numbers in the lineup (along with the R8) are the glossy black surfaces, the second-gen Virtual Cockpit, and a similar design of the center console. The stack of buttons mounted below the lower touchscreen appears to contain physical controls, unlike the ones on the A8 that are touch-sensitive.
Stepping outside of the Q8, the swirly disguise can’t hide the sharp styling as previewed by the Q8 concept. A more aggressive-looking version is expected to arrive further down the line as Audi has hinted it might do an RS Q8 by creating the Q8 Sport concept unveiled in Geneva back in March and more recently by trademarking the “RS Q8” nameplate.
Following the Q8’s launch pinned for next year, Audi will further bolster its SUV portfolio by introducing the Q4 in 2019. In addition, the E-Tron and E-Tron Sportback will both arrive before the end of the decade as pure electric SUVs.