The future Q8 is coming. Late 2017 or early 2018. And it already showed itself in the form of a show car, the Q8 Concept, three months ago at the Detroit show in the USA. To avoid making people jealous, Audi presented a new version last month at the Geneva Motor Show, called Q8 Sport Concept. Either way, it’s promising.
Remix orange way mechanical
The Detroit Q8 Concept was gently blue and finally typical of Audi, despite its vertical grille bars and rear light bar. To go parading on the shores of Lake Geneva, the Q8 sport concept has chosen a much more striking orange colour. The grille is now honeycombed, and the shield adopts a “bitumen vacuum” style. It’s impossible to go unnoticed.
Under the hood, exit Detroit’s 450 hp rechargeable hybrid V6. Make way for an original configuration: a 450 hp V6 3.0L TFSI + a small 26 hp electric motor that can occasionally assist the fuel block for a “boost” effect. The small 0.9 kWh lithium-ion battery will not work miracles, it is not rechargeable on mains but only by regeneration at deceleration. Until then, we can say that this “mild hybrid” solution has a taste of déjà vu and is not revolutionary.
In fact, the originality of this engine is to be associated with an electric compressor that feeds (at 48V) the vehicle’s electrical needs. But it can also support the V6 engine by, for example, increasing the supply of fresh air or by giving a little help to the turbocharger. The result: dazzling acceleration (torque 700 Nm, 0 to 100 km/h in 4.7s), even at low revs. Maximum speed: 275 km/h.
In addition, the Q8 Sport Concept is characterized by an adaptive sport air suspension, allowing 5 levels of ground clearance (9 cm wide) for all types of driving.
Finally, the main information to remember from the Q8 Sport Concept in Geneva and the Q8 Concept in Detroit is the upcoming arrival of a Q8 in the range, above the Q7. Audi is therefore succumbing to the coupé SUV trend already adopted by BMW (X4, X6) and Mercedes (GLC coupé and GLE coupé) but adapting it to the category above. And that’s a first. The result is an SUV with an imposing but balanced line (length 5.02m, wheelbase 3.00m). Much more so than the liner Q7. The only black spot is that the Q8 will not be manufactured in Germany, but like the Q7 in a European country where labour costs are lower: Slovakia.