Audi will therefore have two world premieres at California’s main auto show, as well as a North American debut – the RS6 Avant. Along with the announcement, the automaker has also released a teaser image of the e-tron Sportback showing the shape of the headlights which will feature a special new Digital Matrix technology.
A first for a series-production vehicle, the Digital Matrix headlights can light the way in front of the car “with unprecedented precision through the use of of around one million micro-mirrors. For now, that’s all Audi is willing to share about this lighting technology.
We’ve already seen how the Audi e-tron Sportback looks in a set of spy photos released last month – it’s essentially the “crossover coupe” version of the regular e-tron. Audi says the Sportback variant shares the powertrain with the e-tron and will be built at the same plant in Brussels, Belgium.
As for the Audi RS Q8, it’s a high-performance SUV packing a 4.0-liter TFSI twin-turbo V8 engine with cylinder deactivation technology and mild hybrid drive based on a 48-volt main electrical system.
Thanks to its belt alternator starter, the RS Q8 can recover up to 12 kW of power to its lithium-ion battery. As a result, it can “glide” for up to 40 seconds with the engine switched off at speeds of between 34 and 99 mph (55-159 km/h).
Shared with the latest RS6 Avant, the powertrain is expected to deliver an identical 600 PS (592 HP) and 800 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque.