Audi has confirmed it is developing a sporty Q8 SUV based on the next-generation Q7 scheduled to debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2015.
The Q8 will be a range-topping crossover SUV that will challenge the BMW X6, Range Rover Sport and upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. “The Q8 will come. It will be something new, following designs established on the Prologue concept. It will be positioned as something more emotional and more sporty than the Q7. The Q7 will be a car for seven people, the Q8 will be more coupe like,” Audi technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg told Autocar at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The executive revealed that the upcoming Audi Q7 will be one of the last models to use the current design language, as new chief designed Marc Lichte arrived at Audi too late to influence the look. However, the Q8 will be distinguished from the Q7 inside and out.
Hackenberg said the Q8 has been officially approved for production and is now undergoing a development program, with a launch date expected within the next three years. The Q8 will target markets such as China, the Middle East and the United States.
The Audi Q8 is expected to be more than 5 meters long and to have a price range between £50,000 ($78,390) for an entry-level turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 petrol model and £90,000 ($141,225) for a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 RS Q8 flagship version. Plug-in hybrids and possibly an all-electric version are in the cards as well.
Note: Current-generation Audi Q7 pictured