Audi’s new flagship SUV is almost here – here’s what we know so far.
An all-new Audi SUV is on the way. We've heard rumors and spotted prototypes of the Q8 as early as 2016, but in just a few months we'll see the final flagship SUV in full. The new Audi Q8 will be a step above the Q7 in terms of luxury, and will make its debut in June, before showing up the following month at the Shanghai Auto Expo. Here's everything you need to know before the large, luxurious SUV before it's unveiled next month.
What Is It?
Audi calls the Q8 "the new face of the Q family;" it will be the first true coupe-styled SUV in the Audi lineup, and interestingly enough, just the second SUV to adopt an even-numbered designation behind the Q2. The SUV will share its bones with the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga, and Q7, and should carry over some of the same styling cues of the former two, particularly the sloped rear end and low center of gravity. Audi is touting it as its full-size flagship SUV, which means it should be even more luxurious-looking than the current Q7.
What Does It Look Like?
It shouldn’t be hard to imagine the Audi Q8 in the sheet metal; the original Q8 concept previewed the flagship SUV’s look – albeit a bit more dramatic – and spy photos have shown it almost completely uncovered. Our rendering (above) should be pretty close to the final product, complete with features like 23-inch alloy wheels, carbon ceramic brakes, and a single LED light bar that stretches the length of the trunk. The hardcore RS model – rendered here in yellow – looks appropriately aggressive compared to the prototypes.
In the cabin, the Q8 will adopt Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display. The new setup should give the SUV even more functionality, with a new “control and display concept,” which will replace a number of buttons with digital touchscreens instead.
What’s Under The Hood?
Rumor has it the Q8 will adopt a similar E-Tron plug-in hybrid powertrain to the one found on the concept. That setup paired a 3.0-liter TFSI engine to an electric motor and a 17.9 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, producing 438 horsepower (330 kilowatts) and 516 pound-feet (700 Newton-meters) of torque.
Power will likely be routed through an eight-speed automatic, and sent to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive setup. The Q8 concept was able to sprint to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in just 5.4 seconds, and travel 37 miles on pure electric power, continuing on to a limited top speed of 155 mph. Expect similar performance figures out of the final production version.
Higher output models, particularly the RS Q8, could use the same biturbo 4.0-liter V8 found on the Lamborghini Urus. That engine produces a whopping 650 hp (484 kilowatts) and 627 lb-ft (850 Nm) on the Lambo.
How Much Will It Cost?
Pricing details haven’t been released for the new Q8, but it’s safe to assume it will be more expensive than the current Q7. That SUV starts at $49,000, so the Q8 should be well into the $50,000 mark.
When Will We See It?
Audi has already confirmed that the new Q8 will make its debut in June. The German marque promises the new flagship SUV will show up at the Shanghai Auto Expo shortly thereafter, before going on sale either late in 2018, or early in 2019. The Q8 will be joined by a barrage of new products; Audi plans to introduce a new vehicle every three weeks, marking 20 models being shown over the course of the year.