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New Audi Q8 spied in final stages of testing

Jordan Katsianis
8 Jan 2018

Audi’s super sized crossover SUV is creeping closer to production.

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The worst kept secret in the car world has been snapped once again. Audi’s upcoming Q8 SUV has been spotted in its final stages of testing with very little disguise ahead of its launch later in 2018. 

Looking very similar to the Audi Q8 concept car first revealed at the Detroit motor show last year, the production Q8 will share much of the concept’s basic proportions and detailing while riding on the same MLB-Evo platform that also underpins the Q7. Aimed directly at rivals like the Mercedes GLE Coupe and BMW X6, the Q8 will act as Audi’s new flagship SUV sitting atop the German marque’s growing SUV portfolio.

> Click here for everything you need to know about the Lamborghini Urus

From the images, we can see that the production version of the Q8 will not deviate far from the concept, with near-identical bodywork featuring wider haunches, slim lighting units and the same eight-sided grille. Audi has tried to incorporate some of its heritage in the Q8’s design. The wide C-pillar and box-arch style bulges above the wheels are evocative of the original Ur-quattro from the 1980s. 

Judging by the Q8 concept, expect a similar dash layout as on the new A8 and A7 with Audi’s twin-touchscreen MMI infotainment system dominating a luxurious, high specification interior. Closely related to the Lamborghini Urus and Bentley Bentayga, we expect the Q8 to inherit a 48V electrical system powering an electromechanical anti-roll system and a possible adoption of the Urus’ rear-wheel steering.

The Q8 Concept’s hybrid drivetrain produces 443bhp and 516lb ft of torque. A 3-litre petrol V6, putting out 328bhp and 368lb ft of torque, makes up the conventional component of the drivetrain while the rest of the power comes from a 100kW (134bhp) electric motor. However, we expect the production model to be powered by the range of engines already in the Q7 and eventually the diesel V8 from the SQ7. We may see a version of the Urus’ 641bhp bi-turbo V8 petrol used in a possible RS Q8 too. 

Previously confirmed to be built at Audi's production facility in Bratislava, Audi has still not established a release date for the production Q8. Audi's next big reveal is due to be the all-new A6 in the next couple of months, so we’ll likely have to wait a little longer to see it in final production trim.  

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