Big, bold, and expensive.
With Audi already previewing the Q8 with a couple of concepts, our sister website OmniAuto aka Motor1 Italy has decided to put two and two together and come up with a plausible exterior design for the controversial SUV-coupe mashup. The numerous spy shots showing camouflaged prototypes caught recently testing on the Nürburgring were also taken into consideration while working on the adjacent speculative render, so the design exercise shouldn’t be too far off from the truth.
Set to be produced at VAG’s plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, the first-ever Q8 will share the production facility with the Q7 upon which it will be heavily based as well as with the next-gen Volkswagen Touareg set to use the same platform. It goes without saying it will be Audi’s most expensive SUV in the lineup and will carry a rumored price tag exceeding €100,000 (about $152,000 CAD) for the high-end versions.
Speaking of a high-end model, an RS Q8 doesn’t seem to be such a crazy idea in the long run considering Audi Sport has already announced plans to bolster its RS portfolio in the years to come by launching more SUVs. In addition, the Q8 Sport concept (pictured below) unveiled earlier this year in Geneva explored the idea of a high-performance variant.
While beauty will always be in the eye of the beholder, we do have to appreciate Audi for prepping a design quite different than the “regular” Q7. We’re sure some had concerns the Q8 would turn out to be nothing more than a Q7 with a more sloped roofline and a slightly reworked derrière, but both concepts and the prototypes have shown the new flagship SUV will adopt a substantially modified exterior design.
Moreover, the interior will also be heavily modified as the spy shots below are showing the Q8 will get a more high-tech cabin with a secondary touchscreen for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Bear in mind the pictures are showing a work-in-progress Q8 with most of the cabin sourced from the SQ7, so the real deal will go through some vast changes and should be in line with the two concepts.
As to when we’ll get to see the Q8 in its full production glory, there are a couple of plausible scenarios: in January 2018 at the Detroit Auto Show or two months later in Geneva.