The 2017 Detroit Auto Show has seen the unveiling of Audi s brand new Q8 concept, which it claims will form the basis for a production model to come in 2018. Based on Audi s first full-size SUV offering, the Q7, the Audi Q8 features a coupe-like design that will be going against the top-end luxury compact crossover SUVs of other German automakers, like the Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the BMW X6. The Audi Q8 concept has been in the rumour mills for a long time, and its unveiling in Detroit finally puts the rumours to rest. The unveiling suggests that Audi is looking beyond the top-end Q7 and plans to expand its stable of SUVs. The features and technologies featured in the Q8 concept also give us a hint into what to expect from future cars coming from Ingolstadt. Also Read - 2021 Audi A4 Launched in India at Rs 42.34 Lakh | Check Its latest Features, Designs Here

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Audi Q8 concept at Detroit - front

Audi Q8 concept at Detroit – front

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In terms of exterior styling, the Audi Q8 concept gets the same coupe-like styling that is all the rage among modern SUVs today, with a sloping rear end. The front is quintessential Audi with the large single-frame grille. But the grille gets a thicker bezel around it than other Audi models at present, and the octagonal shape is a different take on the usual Audi design. The six vertical slats across the grille give the front a bigger and meaner look, as due to the thin headlights and the large side air dams below them. At the rear are full-band taillights that add to the breadth of the Audi Q8 concept and are very different from the usual tail lamp design seen in the Audi range. Audi claims that such taillights will be seen in higher-end SUVs from the German carmaker to differentiate from the rest. Also Read: 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA unveiled in Detroit; images, features & specifications

Audi Q8 concept at Detroit - side

Audi Q8 concept at Detroit – side

The Audi Q8 concept is around 50 mm shorter than the current Audi Q7 but gets a similar wheelbase, and these dimensions are likely to remain unchanged as the Q8 goes into production. Inside the car is a dual touch-screen system that marks the next step of the Audi Virtual Cockpit and MMI infotainment system. The MMI system in the Audi Q8 is positioned horizontally for improved ergonomics and easier operation. There is also a larger-than-usual heads-up display called contact analog that overlays information on the road, in a clever play on current augmented reality technology. The information that is displayed included a navigational arrow and notifications from the car s driver assistance systems. Also Read: Official Audi Q8 design sketches release before 2017 debut

Audi Q8 concept at Detroit - rear

Audi Q8 concept at Detroit – rear

Powering the Audi Q8 concept is a plug-in hybrid system that combines a 17.8 kWh lithium-ion battery with a 3.0-litre TFSI V6 engine and an electric motor that integrates with an eight-speed auto transmission. The electric motor provides 100 kW and 234 lb-ft, the equivalent of 134 hp of power and 317 Nm of torque, to the car. In comparison, the hybrid Audi Q7 e-tron gets a diesel V6 engine and a 17.3 kWh battery, and the super-charged Audi Q7 delivers 333 hp. It remains to be seen how much of the concept s power and torque figures and power-train will be transferred to the production model. With the concept, the claimed range of the Audi Q8 is around 999 km.