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Concept Audi Q8 joined by red-hot SQ5 for NAIAS premiere


Spied undergoing testing in Finland last week, Audi unveiled the concept version of its Q8 coupe-SUV in Detroit along with the petrol powered performance version of the new Q5.


Riding on the same MLB platform as the Q7 but with a lowered roofline and space inside for four instead of seven, the Q8 is said to preview Audi's future styling direction with the trademark singleframe grille now featuring six dual upright bars instead of the thin horizontal strips used until now.

Measuring 5.02 m in overall length with a wheelbase of three metres and standing 1.70 metres tall partly thanks to the 23-inch alloy wheels, the Q8 concept also features frameless windows, ceramic brakes, aggressive looking Matrix laser headlights and LEDs acting as both indicators and daytime running lights.

Inside, the Q8 comes fitted with the now familiar 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit Display able to display in 3D, with most of the various functions moved to the MMI display for a modern and uncluttered look.

Although the production Q8 will likely offer a range of TFSI and TDI engines similar to those of the Q7, the concept utilises a plug-in hybrid setup with a 3.0 TFSI V6 developing 245 kW and 500 N.m, mated to a 100 kW electric motor for a total output of 330 kW and 700 N.m of torque.

Connected to a eight-speed Tiptronic box and Audi's trademark quattro all-wheel drive, the Q8 is claimed to reach 100 km/h from standstill in 5.4 second before topping out 250 km/h. Fuel consumption is a mere 2.3 L/100 km with the claimed range in electric mode being 60 km/h. Combined with the TFSI engine though, Audi claims an expected range of 1 000 km with the electric motor taking two hours to charge from flat to 100% full.



Shown in "cooking" form at the Paris Motor Show in October last year, the new SQ5 sees the dropping of the previous 3.0-litre supercharged TFSI engine for a turbo setup making 260 kW and 500 N.m of torque.

An eight-speed Tiptronic box sends the new levels of grunt to all four wheels via quattro all-wheel drive, with the Ingolstadt marque claiming the SQ5 will go from 0-100 km/h 5.4 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 250 km/h. Although a diesel powered SQ5 was previously offered in some markets, it remains unknown whether this will be offered again as an option over the petrol.

Along with the new engine, which tips the scales at 14 kg less than the old supercharged unit, the SQ5 also receives revised front and rear suspension, new adaptive air suspension as part of the optional S sport package, sports tuned Dynamic Power Steering, sports rear differential and 20 or 21-inch alloy wheels.

Aesthetically, the SQ5 gets revised front and rear bumpers, S-specific front air vents, Matte Twilight Grey finished grille with dual aluminium slats, aluminium look mirror finish and dual chrome rear exhausts. Inside, the interior benefits from illuminated door sills with S logos, Alcantara / leather sport seats with contrasting stitching, brushed aluminium inserts, alloy-look paddle shifters and stainless steel pedals.

Pricing details and final spec will only be announced closer to the SQ5's local launch date.

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