Audi has confirmed plans to introduce a range-topping Q8 SUV within the next three years, according to a new report from Autocar. The news comes from Audi technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg, who said the vehicle will be “more emotional and sporty” than the automaker’s current Q7 SUV.
The Q8 will enter the marketplace as a rival to the yet-to-be-revealed Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe and the recently updated BMW X6. While Q7 does and will continue to seat seven people, but Hackenberg alluded that the Q8 will only be a five-seater with a coupe-like roofline. The model will also feature Audi designer the design language put forth by Marc Lichte, which was previewed by the Audi Prologue concept in LA.
Autocar says the Q8 will be powered by a range of gasoline and diesel V6 and V8 engines. A new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 gas engine will serve as the base powerplant, with a 4.0-liter twin turbocharged V8 appearing in the high-performance RS variant. These engines will likely be shared with the next-generation Q7, as will Audi’s second-generation MLB architecture.
The updated MLB platform uses aluminium, thin high-strength steel and carbon fiber-reinforced plastic to significantly reduce weight over the outgoing platform. The new Q7 will see a weight reduction of about 660 pounds, while the Q8 should tip the scales at under 4,400 pounds. The updated MLB platform is also expected to underpin other VW Group SUVs, including the third-generation VW Touareg and the Lamborghini Urus.
Autocar says the Q8 will start at around £50,000 for the base model, with prices growing to £90,000 for the range-topping, high-performance RS version. There is no word on when the vehicle will make its debut, however the new Q7 is expected to break cover at the North American International Auto Show in January.