Audi Q8 2018 preview
An all-new model from Audi, set to launch at the end of 2018, the Q8 will top the company’s SUV line-up, sitting above the current Q7 and aligned with the likes of the new Audi A8 luxury saloon in the company’s pecking order. The Q8 will share much of its underpinnings with the Q7, and be a similar overall size, but it’s expected to be lower and have a sportier side profile, as previewed by the Audi Q8 concept earlier in 2017. The concept is pictured here as Audi has not released any official details on the showroom model as yet.
What will its rivals be?
The Q8 is expected to be priced at a higher level than the Audi Q7, and be more luxurious, so we expect it to compete with existing cars such as the Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz GLS, but really, it also goes head-to-head with current luxury saloons, such as the BMW 7 Series, Jaguar XJ and Mercedes S-Class. BMW is known to be working on a large and luxurious new X7, too. The Q8 could step on the toes of cars such as the Porsche Cayenne and Bentley Bentayga, if it’s sufficiently luxurious.
Any tech info?
We’re guessing here, as Audi hasn’t confirmed anything, but it’s very likely that the Q8 will be offered as an e-tron plugin hybrid at some stage, using TFSI petrol power rather than TDI diesel as the Q7 hybrid does. That should also make use of a 48-volt electrical system to enhance efficiency and give the Q8 active roll control functionality. Inside, we expect the latest version of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit (a large digital display that does away with analogue instrumentation) to be standard. No doubt the Q8 will also have ‘Level 3’ autonomous driving ability where it’s allowed to use it.
What will the range be like?
Again, this is all hypothesis, but it doesn’t take a genius to realise that the new Q8 will follow the new Audi A8 in the range structure. Hopefully without the bizarre new naming convention revealed earlier in 2017 where models are given a number depending on the range of power outputs they fit into… Nonetheless, expect 3.0-litre TDI diesel, quattro four-wheel drive, an automatic transmission and, in time, a high-performance SQ8 variant to balance out the e-tron hybrids.
We reckon the Audi A8 and A7 have set the path for the Q8 and it will come with a similarly stunning interior crammed with the latest technology in terms of driver assistance and OLED lighting. It’ll be more of an extravagance than the family-friendly Audi Q7, which means it’s likely to be quite expensive, too.