Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Audi wows Detroit with the Q8, a hybrid flagship SUV coming in 2018

Video shot and edited by Jennifer Hahn. (video link)

DETROIT, MICH.—Once upon a time, the flagship model in a car maker's line up—the car it packed with all the latest and greatest technology—was a large sedan. But change is afoot within the industry, and premium SUVs are selling like hot cakes. So it makes sense that Audi has decided to add a new model to its range, a super SUV arriving in 2018 called the Q8. To get the world ready for this new standard-bearer, it brought a thinly veiled concept to this year's North American International Auto Show.

The current Q7 SUV has been a huge sales success for Audi, so it's easy to see why the company made this decision. That doesn't mean it's going to do away with the A8 sedan; a new version of that car is due later this year. But the Q8 uses the same underlying platform and, we think, will find many more buyers thanks to the added practicality. It's a looker, too. The Q8 draws heavily on a pair of recent Audi concepts, the e-tron and h-tron, with plenty of styling cues pulled from the company's past. The flared wheel arches and the C-pillars intentionally call to mind the iconic Audi Quattro of the 1980s, for example.

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