Audi Q8: the high-end SUV coupe approved
By Georg Kacher (artist's impression by Christian Schulte) 19 November 2012 10:34
Car Magazine UK
Audi has given the thumbs-up to the new Q8 range-topper, CAR understands. It's a high-end SUV crossover to crown the brand's burgeoning range of planned, sportier 4x4s and tackle the likes of the new Range Rover.
The Audi Q8 will be based on the long-wheebase edition of the next MLB architecture. Baffled by acronyms? Basically, the Q8 will ride on the hardware developed for the next-gen Audi Q7/Porsche Cayenne/VW Touareg. Our artist's impression depicts how it could look.
Audi Q8: the lowdown
Think of the Q8 as the crossover equivalent of the A8: Audi is planning multiple versions of its limo in future, and is mulling over a regular SWB A8, a LWB A8 and, maybe, a four-seater A9 coupe as well – all competing with the taller, high-riding Q8.
The existing range of Audi Q models use odd numbers, denoting 'regular' SUV shapes: Q3, Q5 and Q7 are boxy, upright 4x4s. Now it's preparing a range of even-numbered additions, from Q2, Q4, Q6 and – here – the Q8. They're coupe-inspired, lower, sportier. Yep, the Evoque has a lot to answer for…
Powering the new Q8
The new Audi Q8 will be an aluminium-intensive structure, designed to shave kilos off the existing crop of luxury SUVs. Our sources suggest it'll be 300kg lighter than today's lardy Q7.
CAR understands the Q8 will be powered by a range of V6 and V8 petrols and diesels, bolstered by a range of plug-in hybrids and a a 550bhp RS version.