Audi debuted at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show their Audi Q8 Sport Concept SUV which pretty much shocked the industry with its unique design and technological elements. This Coupe shaped SUV is created from the ground up with efficiency and high-performance in mind. The near-production ready Audi Q8 Sport Concept shows us the vision and design queues of Audi for their upcoming vehicles. We also see the direction the company has taken with the technology for these vehicles. We believe Audi will be spear heading the industry just like they did with the LED lighting they used with their full size Q7 SUVs which was a first for a European automaker.
Aerodynamic features in the front and rear are a prominent part of the Audi Q8 sport concept design. At 16.5 ft. long, the Audi Q8 sport concept makes an impressive mark on the luxury class. Thanks to a wheelbase of 9.8 ft., the vehicle 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 front of the vehicle is very aggressive with its 6.7 ft. width. A prominent singleframe octagonal grill, is much wider than the ones we see present day Audi models. Its surface has a honeycomb mesh structure coated with aluminum segments, while the surroundings is painted in a contrasting color. As is typical of Audi Sport models, the outer air inlets are much larger compared with the basic model – a sign of the greater air requirements of the high-performance power unit. A distinctive body-colored blade forms the bottom edge of the bumper.
The flat, wedge-shaped headlights of the Audi Q8 sport concept are integrated into the front end and, from a design perspective, are connected with the adjoining air inlets. The individual light elements have a glass cover, but the entire headlight units are not enclosed. Their aluminum housing carries over the sculpture of the Singleframe grill. An x-shaped, blue laser light signature accentuates 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.
The doors without the window frames and thus contribute to the flat roofline of the vehicle. The Audi Q8 sport concept is 5.6 ft. tall. All lines on the body climb upward dynamically toward the rear – the bottom edge of the side windows, the shoulders, the dynamic line and the sill line. The surfaces of the fenders, doors and side panels are athletically curved.
A long roof edge spoiler shades the extremely flat rear window of the Audi concept car. The light strip extending over the entire width of the rear end is part of the distinctive light signature. It serves as both the tail and brake lights as well as the dynamic turn signals.
Drivetrain and Technology
The architecture of the drive system in the new Audi Q8 sport concept is revolutionary: Audi is combined a 450 hp 3.0 TFSI six-cylinder engine with an electric powered compressor and an effective mild hybrid system for recuperation. The starter/generator positioned between the crankshaft and the transmission handles recuperation and, if required, can work in the opposite direction as an additional electric motor. The 48-volt electrical system assures the supply of electrical power. Simply by doing this the energy recovered as part of recuperation, if required, can be used to increase performance. In a situation where additional boost needed, the electric motor’s additional 20 kW of output and its torque of 125.4 lb-ft. open up a total of 476 hp of power to the engine and bring its total torque up to 516.3 lb-ft. end result is sporty acceleration from any speed and rev range. Vehicle manages to accelerate 0 – 62 mph as quick as in 4.7-seconds – which is exceptional for a full-size SUV.
Positioned at the rear under the luggage compartment, the lithium-ion battery with an energy storage capacity of 0.9 kWh makes it possible to keep moving slowly in stop-start traffic with the combustion engine switched off, as well as allowing for maneuvering and parking under electric power alone. During braking, using the 20-kW-strong starter/generator quickly recharges the battery to ensure that the vehicle can regularly be driven under electric power.
In addition to the two exhaust gas turbochargers, the electric powered compressor provides the Q8 sport concept with an additional kick by supplying the three-liter six-cylinder engine with fresh air. With the support of the electric powered compressor, the power of the 3.0 TFSI is always instantly available as soon as the accelerator is depressed, even at low engine speeds. During comfort-oriented driving, the electric powered compressor technology prevents unnecessary downshifts and thus keeps the engine speed at a low level.
The Q8 sport concept drive system with its V6 TFSI and additional electric motor supplies the performance of a true eight-cylinder engine, with the gas consumption of an average four-cylinder. This efficient setup gives the Q8 Sport Concept (equipped with a 22.5-gal tank) the total range of more than 745.6 miles per tank. When driving, the drive system management controls the operating states of the Audi both intelligently and flexibly: the luxury SUV can boost, coast and recuperate as appropriate for the situation. The predictive efficiency assistant is a standard feature which supports the driver by supplying greatly detailed information on the vehicle surroundings to the control unit.
Audi did not disclose any specific date for the availability. However, seeing many production-ready concepts in auto shows, also coming across with many Q8 Sport Concept like vehicles zipping around town with fancy camouflage, tells us time is very near.