Audi Q8 to be unveiled today in China
Audi will take the wraps off its new flagship SUV, the Audi Q8 tomorrow at the Audi China Brand Summit Shenzhen in Shanghai. The Q8 will sit above the Q7 in the carmaker's line-up and will be a sportier alternative to the more rational Q7. This positioning is accentuated by the new SUV's coupe-SUV shape versus the Q7's more upright stance. Design sketches revealed some time ago show the strong haunches and a rear taillamp unit that runs the entire length of the car further accentuate this SUV's sporting ambitions. Creased fenders above the wheel wells and integrated trapezoidal exhausts complete the look. The look is unique from the Q series vehicles we have seen so far. Test mules seen on numerous occasions confirm this.
Powertrain options will also mimic those found on its other siblings, this means a range of V6 petrol and diesel motors. The range-topping engine will be the 4.0-litre V8 also seen on the Urus but will likely put out more than 600PS in this car. A plug-in hybrid option will likely be made available as well. This combines a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 and an electric motor fed by a 17.9 kWh lithium-ion battery to produce around 438PS and 700Nm of torque. About 60 km of all-electric range should be made available.
The Q8 will be based on the MLB Evo platform which forms the basic structure for Volkswagen's high-end SUVs like the Audi Q7, new VW Touareg, Porsche Cayenne Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga. The Q8 was shown in concept form at the 2017 Detroit auto show which previewed an interior layout similar to the A8's new twin-screen setup. The basic dash design should be modelled along the A8's as well with similar features and trim options. The Q8 is expected to launch in early 2019 internationally and in India later in the year.
The SUV will be Audi's response to its main rivals offering increasingly high-end SUVs. Buyers, especially in China and USA, have shown a great appetite for ultra-luxurious SUVs and this seems like a logical addition to the portfolio of an upmarket brand like Audi. The Audi Q8 will compete with the likes of the Range Rover, the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class and the upcoming BMW X7.
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