Audi Teases Q8 SUV Coupe Ahead Of Detroit
Audi Teases Q8 SUV Coupe Ahead Of Detroit

Audi Teases Q8 SUV Coupe Ahead Of Detroit

Audi has quietly confirmed it will offer a large SUV coupe to do battle with the niche Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and BMW X6, with the Q8 e-tron set to roll out at the North American International Auto Show next month.

A pair of sketches have ended months of speculation that the German car-maker would fill the obvious gap in both its model line-up and nomenclature, with the drip-feed hype campaign now under way.

Little detail is revealed in the sketches regarding technical details or production model styling but it is known that the SUV will have an electrified powertrain for at least one variant, indicated by the German car-maker's e-tron moniker.

It is likely the car will be based on the Q7 large SUV and Audi is reporting that the \"near-production\" concept will represent \"a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coupe\" in the \"full-size category\".

The pair of stylised images portray a vehicle with an aggressive front end stance, large octagonal grille, gaping performance-car vents and the e-tron brand applied to the lower splitter.

The new Q8 would sit at the top of the SUV pack as the company's new high-riding halo.

A second profile elevation shows off the coupe-like profile, pumped-up wings over fat wheel arches, wraparound rear lights and a thick B-pillar that is not unlike the version belonging to the 1980s Group B rally champ Ur Quattro.

In plug-in hybrid form, the Q8 will share a drivetrain similar to the version that powers the A3 e-tron with an 8.8kWh battery and 50km pure electric range, but it is likely the system will be beefed up to match the lager Q8s weight and applications.

Audi head of design Marc Lichte said the new Q8 would sit at the top of the SUV pack as the company's new high-riding halo.

\"With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line,\" he said. \"Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige.

\"What's more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.\"

Audi will be keeping its Q8 sales expectations close to its chest but, in the case of its rivals, BMW and Mercedes have generated some surprising traffic with its equivalents in Australia.

To the end of November 2016, local shoppers had bought 562 X6s, while Mercedes' rival GLE Coupe had clocked up 767 registrations in the same period.

Are large coupe SUVs a car-maker's greatest folly or clever range diversification? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

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