Audi channels its performance heritage into its flagship Q8 SUV

Audi Q8 sketch

Audi will enter a new segment of the market when it introduces the Q8, a long-promised range-topping SUV that aims to deliver fast, luxurious, and high-tech motoring. The Q8 will break cover this summer.

The German firm published an artistic teaser sketch on its Facebook page to give us an early look at its next new model. From what we can tell, it borrows a multitude of styling cues from the Q8 concept introduced last year during the Detroit auto show. Large and in charge, it rides on the same basic platform as the Q7, the Lamborghini Urus, and the Bentley Bentayga, among other models, but stylists took the design in a sportier direction with a wide, upright grille and a more swept-back roof line. The sketch shows a rear end inspired by the latest A7 with thin LED lights connected by a light bar.

Audi bills the Q8 as an SUV with coupe design. Think of it as the company’s answer to the Porsche Cayenne and, significantly, Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport. It will consequently need to pack a serious punch to keep up. Though Audi hasn’t published technical details yet, British magazine Autocar believes the palette of engines will include six- and eight-cylinders sourced from the company’s parts bin. An automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel drive will come standard regardless of what’s under the hood.

Spy shots suggest we’ll see a range-topping, high-performance RS Q8 model a little bit later in the production run. And, Autocar adds Audi will also release a gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid Q8 capable of capable of driving on electricity alone. Both variants are rumors at this point. What’s certain is that the use of lightweight materials like aluminum will keep weight in check.

The Q8 will break cover during Audi’s China Brand Summit, an event that will take place in Shenzen on June 5. In the meantime, the company launched a short, five-episode long Youtube series called Q8 Unleashed to build up excitement for the model.

Built alongside the Q7 and the new Porsche Cayenne, the Q8 is tentatively scheduled to arrive in showrooms later this year as a 2019 model.