The Ingolstadt-based automaker is ready to take the fight to BMW’s X6 and Mercedes’ GLE Coupe with the first ever Q8, set to be previewed in concept form early next month during the Detroit Auto Show.
The North American International Auto Show will serve as the ramp-up for the production model set to arrive in 2019 to do battle in the polarizing – but growing – niche of big coupe-like SUVs. In Detroit we’re going to be treated to the E-Tron concept version – which should be a zero emissions vehicle or at least a plug-in hybrid. Anyways, the two official renders accompanied a German media interview of Audi’s chief designer Marc Lichte. The styling boss comes with a new interpretation of the corporate singleframe front grille, which hasn’t been shrunk but looks different due to the double vertical fins. There are also appear to be sharp laser headlights and the front bumper is aggressive by nature due to the large vents.
The other render offers a good look at the side profile, showing Audi has learned the lesson of not putting a steeply sloped roofline as on the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, in a bid to retain some rear seat habitability. It’s of course much more sporty than the Q7 – with the Q8 most likely sharing most of the components. Lichte also hinted the Q8 and A8 will share most of the interior – and both will be set apart from the crop of current Audis.