One of the most significant reveals expected at next week’s Detroit motor show is the Audi Q8, although it will be shown there as a design study. Ingolstadt’s large SUV, which is aimed at rivals like the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupé, had been spotted earlier as a test mule disguised under slightly tweaked Q7 bodywork. But now, our spy snapper has managed to sneak into Audi’s secret testing area in Scandinavia and get some shots of a production ready prototype for the first time. As you can see, these were shot in the dark, and hence are grainy, but the photographer has got shots from all angles including some close-ups of the back, which shows a coupé-like boot lid, but not as conspicuously coupé-like as those of the X6 or the GLE Coupé.
The Q8 looks sportier and more aggressive than the Q7, with which it shares the platform and mechanicals. It also seems to sport a wider track than the Q7 and rides lower. The design follows the same family styling language seen in recent models, including the new A4 and the grille and headlights appear to have taken cues from the Prologue concept shown at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show.
While the Q8 will be Audi’s flagship SUV, it has seating for four, at least in the concept. We expect the production vehicle to have options for five- and four-seat configurations. It’s also likely to come equipped with the brand’s latest autonomous driving technology and an array of six- and eight-cylinder engines along with a plug-in hybrid powertrain option, which has apparently been co-developed with Porsche.
The Audi Q8 is likely to be officially launched in production form sometime later this year as a 2018 model.