Audi Q8 SUV Plug-In Hybrid Debuts with 37 Miles Range, Arrives 2018 – Videos

9 months ago by Mark Kane 36

There wasn’t a lot to write home about when it came to plug-in vehicle introductions at the NAIAS in Detroit this year, but Audi did not disappoint, as the company unveiled a great looking, full-size plug-in hybrid SUV, the Q8 Concept.  (watch the Q8’s livestream debut below)

Better still, this isn’t a one-off concept, but near-production car that is scheduled for market launch in 2018.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The four-seater is a luxury plug-in hybrid with 330 kW and 700Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque output, and of course quattro permanent all-wheel drive as one might expect.

Perhaps more importantly than the performance specs (which are impressive), is that for the Q8 Audi has utilized a reasonably sized battery – some 17.9 kWh, that enables one to drive in all-electric mode forup to 60 km (37.3 mi).

Acceleration also is very strong for a vehicle of this class, with 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) coming up in 5.4 seconds.

Audi says both the drive system, as well as the suspension are production ready:

“The concept car also uses high-end production solutions for its wide-track suspension. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – allows a wide range from cushioned cruising to firm and tight handling. In addition, it sets the ground clearance in two levels, with 90 millimeters (3.5 in) height difference, to the ideal level in each case. The front and rear suspensions are engineered as lightweight five-link designs.”

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

From the exterior, the Q8 provides a glimpse of Audi’s new design language, while inside the German manufacturer shows how future technology will be implemented in future vehicles.

“At 5.02 meters (16.5 ft) long, the Audi Q8 concept is an impressive presence in the full-size class. Thanks to a wheelbase of three meters (9.8 ft), the show car offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roofline, even the rear-seat passengers enjoy ample head and shoulder room. The control concept uses large touchscreens in the cockpit and is rounded out by an expanded version of the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact-analogue head-up display. The latter uses intelligent augmented reality technology that merges the real and the virtual worlds.”

Especially interesting are black panels that become touch screens after turning the car on.

Audi Q8 Concept Unveiling At Detroit Auto Show NAIAS 2017

Quick specs:

  •  330 kW system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque – from 3.0 TFSI engine (245 kW (333 hp) and a maximum of 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque) combined with 100 kW of power and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft) electric motor
  • quattro permanent all-wheel drive system
  • 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds
  • top speed 250 km/h (155.3 mph)
  • lithium-ion battery located in the rear consists of 104 prismatic cells. With a capacity of 17.9 kWh
  • electric range of 60 kilometers (37.3 mi), and the total range with the TFSI engine is up to 1,000 kilometers (621.4 mi)
  • a full charge with 7.2 kW output takes about two and a half hours
  • According to the standard applicable for plug-in hybrids, it consumes just 2.3 liters of fuel (102.3 US mpg) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in the NEDC, corresponding to 53 grams CO2 per km (85.3 g/mi)
  • luggage compartment has a capacity of 630 liters (22.2 cu ft)
Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

Press blast

Full-size SUV in coupe design: Audi Q8 concept

Monday 9, January 2017

  • Luxury seating for four, new control concept with large touchscreens
  • Plug-in hybrid with 330 kW system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque
  • Production model based on concept to launch in 2018
Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

HERNDON, Virginia, January 9, 2016 – Dynamic, highly efficient and extremely comfortable: Audi presents the Audi Q8 concept at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) 2017. With this model the premium manufacturer is tapping into a new segment for the full-size class – an elegant alternative to the robust presence of a classic sport utility vehicle. The Q8 concept stands for maximum prestige. It combines the spaciousness of an SUV with the emotional lines of a coupe. Propulsion is provided by a powerful, yet highly efficient plug-in hybrid with 330 kW of system output and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. The concept car is the basis for a production model that Audi will launch on the market in 2018.

At 5.02 meters (16.5 ft) long, the Audi Q8 concept is an impressive presence in the full-size class. Thanks to a wheelbase of three meters (9.8 ft), the show car offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roofline, even the rear-seat passengers enjoy ample head and shoulder room. The control concept uses large touchscreens in the cockpit and is rounded out by an expanded version of the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact-analogue head-up display. The latter uses intelligent augmented reality technology that merges the real and the virtual worlds.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

“The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV,” said Dietmar Voggenreiter, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.”

Dynamic lines and digital Matrix laser technology: the front end
The front view of the 2.04-meter-wide (6.7 ft) Audi Q8 concept is already impressive. The distinguishing feature here is the octagonal Singleframe with honeycomb insert. It is sculpted and significantly wider than in today’s Audi production models. Six upright double bars structure the radiator grille while simultaneously emphasizing its height. A mask painted in a contrasting color frames the grille. The outer air inlets have a deep and dynamic appearance like the intakes of a turbine. A distinctive aluminum blade forms the bottom edge of the bumper.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The flat, wedge-shaped headlights of the Audi Q8 concept are integrated progressively into the exterior and connected from a design perspective to the surrounding air inlets. The individual lighting units have glass covers, but the headlights as a whole are open. This creates the impression that they are free in space. The aluminum housing for the headlights carries over the sculpture of the Singleframe. The clear geometry gives the Audi Q8 concept a determined look. An x-shaped, blue laser light signature highlights the digital Matrix laser technology used for the low and high beams. Broken down into more than one million pixels, their light can illuminate the road in high resolution and with precise control. Located below the edge of the engine hood is a narrow LED light guide that emits the light for the dynamic turn signals and the daytime running lights. It wraps around the outside of the headlights, where its ribs create an innovative e-tron signature. All lighting functions are dynamic.

Athletic and powerful: the side view

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The silouhette of the Audi concept car also evokes tautness. The doors do not have window frames, thus contributing to the flat roofline. The Audi Q8 concept is 1.70 meters (5.6 ft) tall. All lines on the body climb upward dynamically toward the rear – the bottom edge of the side window, the shoulders, the dynamic line and the sill lines. The surfaces of the fenders, doors and side panels are athletically curved. The lower section of the doors form a deep fillet. Other design features are the quattro logo milled below the rear doors and also the exterior mirrors with their multifaceted edges. The doors are opened via touch sensors. As soon as the door detects hand contact, it opens easily and swings to a defined opening angle.

The extremely flat and very wide C-pillar is reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro from the 1980s, as are the strongly flared shoulders over the wheels. This places the concept car in a logical line with the show cars of the Audi Prologue series. The balanced proportions of the Audi Q8 concept emphasize the front and rear wheels equally – that too is typical quattro. The strongly accentuated wheel arches feature a double design. The sill region of the doors shines in brushed aluminum for an intriguing contrast to the show car’s Bombay blue paint finish.

Flat and compact: the rear

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

A long roof edge spoiler shades the extremely flat rear window of the Audi concept car. A double spoiler lip below the window forms a distinctive contour on the power luggage compartment hatch. The strip of lights extending over the entire width of the rear end is part of a distinctive e-tron light signature. It serves as both the tail and brake light as well as the dynamic turn signals. The four outer lighting elements are set in aluminum blades and reflect the semantics of the headlights. The individual elements of the tail lights are also open, and all lighting functions are dynamic.

The license plate of the Audi Q8 concept is located on a black trim strip between the lights – a typical feature of the Audi Ur-quattro. The diffuser is made of aluminum; its clasp of high-gloss Carbon Atlas. This combination of materials is also used around the headlights to demonstrate sportiness.

Luxury seating for four: the interior

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The interior of the Audi Q8 concept offers opulent spaciousness for four persons and their large suitcases. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 630 liters (22.2 cu ft). Widely stretched lines lend the cockpit a sporty as well as elegant ambiance. Virtually floating above the center tunnel is a console for the shift-by-wire lever, with which the driver controls the eight-speed tiptronic transmission purely electronically. The console’s appearance resembles the stern of a sailing yacht.

The wrap-around begins in the front doors. This large, horizontal arc runs along the lower edge of the windshield and frames the driver’s and front passenger’s seats without hemming in the occupants. The sport seats as well as the two individual seats in the rear are made up of segments that appear to be separate geometric bodies, from the pronounced side bolsters to the head restraints. A horizontal aluminum clasp divides the backrests at the height of the window shoulder line.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The instrument panel with its distinctly horizontal character descends in steps toward the interior. The central control and display surfaces are integrated into the so-called “black panel” – a glossy black strip framed by an aluminum clasp. When switched off, the monitor is invisibly embedded in the surface and the lines flow harmoniously. When the display is in operation, it assimilates perfectly into the design line. In the front passenger area, the black panel encircles
a graphical quattro badge. The arrow-shaped inlays in the doors pick up the expressive design. Filigree aluminum bars integrated into them serve as door openers. When dark, LED light guides illuminate the interior with white light.

The colors and materials in the Audi A8 concept provide for a cool and sporty atmosphere. One highlight is the three-dimensional, engineered grain on the instrument panel, doors and floor. High-gloss carbon applications with a new, abstract fabric structure as well as aluminum strips and frames set accents. Their brushed finish is relatively dark. Brightness increases gradually from the headlining to the center console in graduated shades of gray from steel gray to pastel silver.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The technical materials in the Audi Q8 concept contrast with the soft surfaces. The seats are covered in a combination of Fine Nappa leather and Nubuk leather, both in pastel silver. The upholstery is pulled around the clasp that divides the backrests – the inside becomes the outside at this point. The head restraints are covered with a structured textile of a color similar to that of the leather elements.

New ways: controls and displays

The elegant interior architecture of the Audi Q8 concept merges with a groundbreaking control and display concept. Information and commands are passed primarily through touch displays augmented by the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact analogue head-up display. All displays feature a new “digital design” that concentrates systematically on the most important things.

The contact analogue head-up display projects important displays onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of view, seemingly placing them in the real environment. A navigation arrow, for example, appears in the same position as an actual arrow on the road – an intelligent application of augmented reality. The notifications from the driver assistance systems also merge the virtual and physical worlds.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The Audi virtual cockpit future is even more dynamic thanks to new functions, and with a resolution of 1920 x 720 pixels displays graphics with more detail than ever before. In “auto” display mode, the 12.3-inch TFT display offers generous space for maps, lists and additional information. The top-down map view visualizes the selected route. When zooming in, the current position and surroundings are displayed in 3D. Through the buttons on the steering wheel, the driver can switch to “performance” mode. The needles of the speedometer and powermeter now appear in a foreshortened, three-dimensional display.

All other monitors in the Audi Q8 concept are touch displays. The great strength of this principle is the direct, fast and intuitive operation. Drivers select each function exactly where they see it. Audi was also able to reduce the number of buttons, switches and levers thanks to the touchscreens. The interior now appears even neater and cleaner.

The MMI monitor in center of the dashboard is used to control the infotainment system and for vehicle settings. A display for the climate control system is integrated into the diagonal section of the center console. The driver’s wrist rests comfortably on the low selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic while using this display. If the sensors in the seat detect a front-seat passenger, the touchscreen displays their climate control settings. This function is not available when the driver is traveling alone. Another touchscreen is reserved for the lighting functions.

Powerful and highly efficient: the drive system

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

The Audi Q8 concept uses production technologies for the drive system and suspension. The plug-in hybrid combines sporty performance with high efficiency. The combustion engine is a 3.0 TFSI producing 245 kW (333 hp) and a maximum of 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor generates 100 kW of power and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft). Together with a decoupler, it is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic. The complete system produces 330 kW and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. The Audi Q8 concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph). According to the standard applicable for plug-in hybrids, it consumes just 2.3 liters of fuel (102.3 US mpg) per 100 kilometers (62.1 mi) in the NEDC, corresponding to 53 grams CO2 per km (85.3 g/mi).

The lithium-ion battery located in the rear consists of 104 prismatic cells. With a capacity of 17.9 kWh, it enables an electric range of 60 kilometers (37.3 mi), and the total range with the TFSI engine is up to 1,000 kilometers (621.4 mi). A full charge with 7.2 kW output takes about two and a half hours.

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

When driving, the hybrid management system controls the operating states of the
Audi Q8 concept intelligently and flexibly. The full-size SUV can boost, coast and recuperate as appropriate for the situation. The predictive efficiency assistant, which in production models supports the driver, provides the hybrid management system with highly detailed information about the near surroundings for this purpose. Route data from the navigation system and Audi connect Car-to-X services are also considered.

The driver controls the Audi drive select system via a prismatic satellite button on the flat-bottomed steering wheel, just like the start-stop system. There is a choice of three driving modes: “EV” mode prioritizes electric driving, while in “hybrid” mode the decision regarding the drive type is left largely to the hybrid management system. In “battery hold” mode, it saves the available electric energy for a later time.

High-tech from production models: drivetrain and suspension

Audi Q8 Concept

Audi Q8 Concept

In the Audi Q8 concept, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system delivers the power of the hybrid drive to the road with supreme control. At the cornering limit, it works closely with the wheel-selective torque control. This minimally brakes the inside wheels, which further enhances dynamics and stability.

The concept car also uses high-end production solutions for its wide-track suspension. The adaptive air suspension sport – an air suspension system with controlled damping – allows a wide range from cushioned cruising to firm and tight handling. In addition, it sets the ground clearance in two levels, with 90 millimeters (3.5 in) height difference, to the ideal level in each case. The front and rear suspensions are engineered as lightweight five-link designs.

Audi mounts 305/35-series tires on the large 11J x 23 wheels. The five intertwining Y spokes project a filigreed, three-dimensional and powerful image. Ceramic brake discs measuring 20 inches in diameter effortlessly decelerate the Audi Q8 concept.

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36 responses to "Audi Q8 SUV Plug-In Hybrid Debuts with 37 Miles Range, Arrives 2018 – Videos"

  1. DJ says:

    Aaaaaand Mitsubishi will now never ever bring the Outlander PHEV to the US market.

    Looks great. Kinda scared to ask the price though.

    1. speculawyer says:

      “Aaaaaand Mitsubishi will now never ever bring the Outlander PHEV to the US market.”

      How did that happen? I swear, there has to be some conspiracy . . . or at least weird story. That thing would have sold great here. But nothing.

      1. John in AA says:

        One speculation I’ve seen (I have no idea as to the truth of it) is that Mitsubishi gamed the AER in Japan, and didn’t want that revealed by having to go through an EPA test cycle.

  2. WARREN says:

    The Germans are coming.

    1. jelloslug says:

      You mean scrambling.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      ..with inordinate complexity, and an inferior AWD system.

      Audi, Do the reverse. Keep the old dash, and ditch the mechanicals. “Drivers” don’t want touch screens.

      Face it, drive shafts, differentials and mechanical traction control are old toast. Negative torque vectoring, digital AWD systems are lighter, much faster and more efficient. Audi’s graphics sure do look really cool, though.

      If the maintenance budget doesn’t break the deal, the function-follows-form interior does. All this crazy stuff, for 330kw when the simpler P100D, ok for a price, can break 500KW on just watts alone.

      Interesting how years old Audi concepts turn into gas cars:

      http://insideevs.com/370-mile-audi-q8-e-tron-gets-production-green-light/

  3. David Murray says:

    So, can we assume this 37 miles of range is likely NEDC or some other test criteria that is not realistic? The battery capacity seems reasonable, but considering the size and weight of that vehicle, I have doubts about 37 miles. Still, i it even gets 30 miles, then I give it a passing grade since most PHEVs are 20 miles or less.

    1. PJ says:

      I would guess the 37 miles of range is epa with that size of battery. Look at the Pacifica it has 30 miles of range from 16kwh. I would guess a SUV is more aerodynamic then a minivan. One thing that I could imagine would cause this to have less then 30 miles of range is this is more likely tuned for performance.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Volvo XC90 does 14 miles EPA and 26 miles NEDC with 9.2 kWh battery.
      37 miles EPA may be too much for 17.9 kWh and heavy SUV, but some 20-27 miles EPA would be feasible.

    3. DonC says:

      Yes, likely a more mild cycle. I’d guess 30 miles of electric range. I’m also doubting the 0-60 times is using only the motor. Probably the engine and the motor.

    4. R.S says:

      I don’t think Audi will continue quoting the NEFZ for their upcoming EVs and PHEVs, since by September 2017, they will have to state the much stricter WLTP fuel/energy consumption and range. So those 37 miles will probably be very close to the EPA range.

  4. Just_Chris says:

    It looks great, far better then a conventional Q8. I am a bit disappointed to see the torque converter in the drive train. I only have a limited understanding of things with moving parts but I would assume if the motor was powerful enough the torque converter would be unnecessary. I guess there might be other reasons for it.

  5. Jake Brake says:

    VDA cells = Fail

    That 37 is probably NEDC

  6. Brandon says:

    Interesting there is no mention of the BEV Q8, also supposed to debut in 2018.

  7. unlucky says:

    I don’t get these “SUVs” which rooflines so low you can’t use them as one. So wasteful.

    And 37 miles is surely NEDC (despite the NAIAS intro). And in 2018?

    VW just moves ridiculously slowly while wants us to think of them as near the forefront. Insane.

    1. speculawyer says:

      Why does an SUV need a high roofline? It is easier to lift items onto the roofrack of an SUV with a low roofline.

      1. Rob Stark says:

        Because you are far more likely to put stuff underneath the tailgate than over the top of it.

        Coupe rooflines for crossovers only make sense for BEVs trying to eek out every last mile of AER. But that won’t be the case for long with ever increasing energy density.

      2. unlucky says:

        If you have space inside you don’t need to put a pod on the roof.

        You’re talking about a *utility vehicle * here. Yeah, it needs utility.

    2. DonC says:

      The press release says the 37 mile range is on NEDC.

  8. wavelet says:

    I expect the 37mi is NDEC, but a 27-30mi AER for such a heavy vehicle is OK.

    Cargo capacity si also decent… But what give’s with such a large vehicle being only a 4-seater? Esp. when it’s >2m wide — if they producer it, it’ll one of the widest vehicles on the road.

  9. DonC says:

    Agree it’s likely to be pricey, but it’s an option. A lot of people could easily get 200 MPG outside of long trips, and this should be a nice vehicle for that.

    So in 2018 we have a BEV Jaguar and a PHEV Audi SUV. Choices are good.

  10. Acevolt says:

    Only four seats for this huge SUV…fail.

    1. DonC says:

      No fail. The concept showed seating for four, but you have the option of seating for five if that’s what you’d like.

      1. Skryll says:

        I want six tho, guess tesla model x it is 🙂

      2. Steve says:

        DonC can you point to this info somewhere? I can’t find it.

        22.2cubic feet storage in the rear. Do the rear seats fold forward? Can’t tell from the press release.

        It’s a 4-seat car with no folding rear seat until then. Makes a mockery out of the “U” in “SUV” with four fixed seats separated by a tunnel/console in the rear.

        1. bogdan says:

          The whole car is a mockery and still in concept stage.

  11. Peter Farkaš says:

    I don’t understand VW hybrids with Quattro. Wouldn’t it be easier to have electric motor on the rear wheels? I understand that this way they save on generator connected to petrol engine, but I would say additional generator would take less space than whole Quattro system and probably will also cost less. Looking at the pictures there is enough room for electric engine on the rear wheels.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      FWIW, If VW put the 918 drive train in backwards in the Q8, we’d have the engine in front wired to electric in back configuration.

      It’s sad to see this company develop competitive things they leave on the shelf, and then go spend money on fines, instead.

  12. WARREN says:

    This has the laser headlights that BMW has on their i8 today. That is something I wish I had on my car! Gotta love technology. Wonder how long before we see these on an American car. On the other hand, would be afraid to see how much they cost to replace!

  13. Simon says:

    What is about the Q8 etron electric? Should aerive in 2017 they said in 2014.
    Another canceled Audi car?

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Simon,

      No not cancelled, for some (unknown) reason they changed product naming plans, and now just call it the “Audi e-tron”, but it is still the same 95 kWh BEV SUV.

      Apparently subsequent models will regain individual/conventional naming, like say A6 e-tron, A8 e-tron, etc.

      On the positive side, it is on Audi’s production schedule for Spring of 2018…so another ~year to wait.

    2. bogdan says:

      Not cancelled, but delayed till 2025.

  14. Andrew S says:

    Evidently Audi is claiming 60 miles of AER… I think the 37 miles InsideEVs is reporting is their EPA estimate.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2017/01/09/audi-q8-concept-details/

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey Andrew,

      Autoblog made a little km to miles snafu there I think in a rush to get out a brief ditty on the PHEV…we wish it was 60 miles NEDC (60 km = 37 miles).

      Audi is giving the efficiency in expected NEDC in this case (liters/100km) as they have done in the past; and the all-electric range in Audi-speak, which is close to NEDC (traditionally a touch more conservative than they crazy-optimistic NEDC ends up being…they likely didn’t want to say something that appeared random like 63.7 km).

      We are expecting 28-30 miles EPA in all likelihood, given what we have seen early estimates be on a half dozen other Audi/VW plug-ins that have now been rated.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        So it’s a “Clean” 37

  15. BernieTx says:

    The 17.9kwh battery is close to the gen2 Volt’s 18.4kwh. Of course, this is a bigger heavier car, so less range/mpg. But what interests me, is that the 18kwh battery is fairly compact. This bodes well for the future.