Q8 Concept Is Audi's Bigger Take On Its BMW X6 & Mercedes GLE Coupe Problem

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Unlike with the Q7 SUV, once Audi finishes developing the production version of the Q8 concept, they'll finally have what it takes to enter the stylish premium coupe-like SUV segment.

According to Audi, the Q8 concept previews a production model that will see the light of day sometime next year. Now, even if some of its styling elements will be toned down, it still reminds us a lot of the e-tron quattro concept from 2015.

Speaking of the e-tron quattro concept, one could say that it actually had a more coupe-like exterior design compared to the Q8 concept, yet the latter definitely took the extremely futuristic cabin layout presented in the e-tron quattro and brought it closer to production readiness.

And yes, all the monitors inside the Q8 concept (except for the speedometer and power-meter) are touch-sensitive, which helped Audi reduce the overall number of buttons, allowing for cleaner and neater cockpit aesthetics, especially compared to its rivals.

These images from Audi's stand at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show really help put the Q8 concept's dimensions in perspective, although you'd be forgiven for thinking you're looking at a smaller SUV than its BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe rivals.

In reality, the Q8 concept is longer, wider and shorter than both of them, measuring 5.02 m (16.5 ft) in length, 2.04 m (6.7 ft) in width and just 1.70 m (5.6 ft) in height. In comparison, the GLE Coupe has 4.90 m (16.0 ft) in length, 2.00 m (6.6 ft) in width and 1.73 m (5.67 ft) in height. In other words, yes, it's the correct size and then some more for taking on its rivals from BMW and Mercedes.

While we fully expect the production-model to utilize both petrol and diesel engines, alongside any electrified powertrains, the concept features a plug-in hybrid system, made up of a 333 PS (328 HP) 3.0-liter TFSI unit and a 100 kW, 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft) electric motor. In total, we're dealing with 448 PS (442 HP) and a massive 700 Nm (516 lb-ft) of torque, allowing for a 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of 5.4 seconds.

As for its all-electric range, the 17.9 kWh lithium-ion battery can help run the Q8 concept for up to 60 km (37.3 miles) without using any petrol - though together, Audi estimates a range of up to 1,000 km (621.4 miles).

On the road, technologies like the adaptive air suspension will allow for a wide range of running modes, from cushioned cruising to sporty and tight handling. Furthermore, it can set the ground clearance in two levels, with 90 mm (3.5 in) in height difference between them.

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