Audi took the wraps off a follow-up version to its Q8 concept at the Geneva motor show this week, previewing an upcoming SUV that will throw a few coupe styling elements into the mix. The first Q8 concept debuted at the Detroit auto show just a few weeks ago, featuring a lower roof profile and some sleeker surfaces than the current range-topping Q7 SUV.
Audi’s Geneva concept is called Q8 Sport and pairs a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 with a hybrid system that now pumps out a total of 469 hp, up from the 442 hp delivered by the first concept. The torque figure has stayed the same at 516 lb-ft, but the bump in horsepower, courtesy of a new electric compressor, was apparently enough to bring the 5.4-second sprint time of the first Q8 concept down to 4.7 seconds.
One of the concept’s neatest tricks is a 0.9 kWh lithium-ion battery that allow the Q8 Sport to crawl through stop-and-go traffic without swithing on the gasoline engine, in addition to moving around a parking lot on electric power alone. The overall aim of this mild hybrid system is to provide the power of an eight-cylinder engine with the fuel efficiency of a four-cylinder, which assures a 745-mile range coupled with a fully gassed-up 3.0-liter TFSI engine.
The Q8 is expected in production sometime in 2019.
“The drive system of the Audi Q8 sport concept is a major step towards optimising efficiency and sustainability in large-volume series production,” said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at Audi. “The combination of mild hybrid technology and a TFSI engine sets a new benchmark for the synthesis of electromobility and combustion engines. In the future, this combination will be used in many Audi models.”
When it comes to design the still-concept front fascia with a honeycomb mesh looks fresh and modern, gently evolving Audi’s design language with plenty of sharp edges bookended by sleek headlights. The front intakes will likely be toned down for the production model, as will the vents at the rear wheelarches, but overall the concept SUV looks better in photos than what you may picture when you hear “coupe-like SUV,” having seen how some other German automakers have executed that look.
The Q8, which has already been spotted testing, will combine the looks of an SUV and a coupe.
On the inside, the Q8 Sport offers the eyes plenty of rhomboid shapes in an attempt to look futuristic. And it actually works, even if the interior appears somewhat cold. Overall, it’s not look far off from what we may see Ingolstadt produce in just a couple of years.
Speaking of timing: There is still a while to wait for a production version of the Q8. The SUV is expected to land in 2019 as a 2020 model year vehicle, by which time it’ll probably gain a few more horses and miles of pure-electric range thanks to advancements in tech between now and then.