With a near-production Q8 Concept, Audi announced the arrival of its next grand SUV in Detroit. It's expected to appear on the roads in about a year from now. 

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At 5.02 metres long, 2,04 meters wide, 1,70 meters high and with a wheelbase of three metres, the Audi Q8 concept SUV will be a very spacious car - despite the sloping, coupe-like roofline, it will offer plenty of comfort for four passengers and their luggage, easily stored in a compartment with a capacity of 630 litres. The control concept features large touchscreens in the cockpit and an expanded version of the Audi virtual cockpit as well as a contact-analogue head-up display, which uses intelligent augmented reality technology that merges the real and the virtual worlds.

In the front, one can't but notice the familiar radiator grille structured by six upright double bars, surrounded by flat, wedge-shaped headlights. The vehicle as a whole looks rather majestic, designed to reflect geometrically clean lines, while being reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro from the 1980s with the extremely flat and very wide C-pillar.

The concept was treated with the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system and a powerful plug-in hybrid powertrain. In its core is the combustion engine 3.0 TFSI producing 333PS and a maximum of 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque, working side by side with the electric motor that generates 100 kW of power and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft). The latter is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic, together with a decoupler. The complete system produces 330 kW and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque, enabling this SUV concept to accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 5.4 seconds. According to the standard applicable for plug-in hybrids, it returns up to 122mpg in the NEDC, corresponding to 53 grams CO2 per km.

Energy is stored in the lithium-ion battery consisting of 104 prismatic cells. With a capacity of 17.9 kWh, it enables an electric range of about 60 kilometers. Using a 7.2 kW output, the battery can be fully charged in about two and a half hours.

Jan. 12, 2017 Driving photo: Audi

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