At the auto show in Los Angeles, Ulrich Hackenberg, Technical Director Audi, confirmed that the company plans to release a new SUV – Audi Q8. Q7 will serve as a basis for that model. It is expected that the new aggressive crossover will be a serious competitor for the Range Rover Sport, BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz MLC.
Model Q7 will be one of the last cars of concern, which was designed before the company Hackenberg. Technical Director Audi said that he and the new head designer, Marc Lichte, appeared at the production of too late. At that moment there was no sense to change Q7 appearance. Therefore, all the structural solutions that engineers were planning to implement in the previous version of the SUV a new Q8 would get.
It is expected that crossover will come on the market in the next three years.
CEO of the concern Rupert Stadler already at the Beijing Motor Show has told reporters that the company was planned to upgrade the lineup. Audi focuses primarily in the development of a new SUVs line. Of the 11 models that will be put into production until 2020, 5 cars will belong to the class of crossovers and receive codes Q1, Q2, Q4, Q6 and Q8.
Analysts predict a rise in the proportion of annual SUVs sales up to 40% of the total number of cars. It is about 800 000 cars.
Q8, as already mentioned, is created in order to oust Audi main competitors from the pedestal of top sellers in the upper price segment. Company determines the markets of US, the Middle East and China as its priority.
Audi Q8 on the characteristics and performance is similar to the Audi A8. The same high-tech “filling”, increased inner comfort, etc. Among the advantages of the new crossover are increased ground clearance and adjustable air suspension.
The length of Q8 is expected to be about 5 m. The grade will include a turbocharged gasoline engine of 3 liter and 4-liter V8 RS Q8. The price of the machine with the first unit will start from 50 000 pounds, the second – from 90 000 pounds. Perhaps, as an option the manufacturer will offer motorists also diesel, hybrid and electric versions of the SUV. It is, in any case, would allow the company to compete with the Tesla Model X SUV.
Q8 will have its own unique design. The five-door coupe is now being developed under the guidance of Marc Lichte, new chief designer of the concern. Among the characteristic elements which the future SUV will receive, as it is expected a more aggressive grille, smaller side mirrors, rear window with a larger angle can be mentioned.
The main feature of the new crossover from Audi is a lightweight body made of high strength steel fiber, reinforced plastic and carbon fiber. Thanks to new technologies developed by engineers, they were managed to drop a curb weight of the car below 2 000 kg. This is a very good characteristic sign that helps the concern to prove the model in a favorable light, even in a competitive environment.