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The Audi Q8 has been spied undergoing testing in Arctic reaches of northern Europe.

Although there some false body panels hidden under the camouflage, which serve to hide the production car’s surfacing and details, we can see that the new ‘coupe SUV’ is closely related to the Q8 Concept that was unveiled at this year’s Detroit motor show.

Like the concept, the production Q8 will have a wide eight-point version of Audi’s single-frame grille and slimline tail-lights. Changes from concept car include bigger wing mirrors, pull-out door hand handles, and, possibly, taller headlights.

This prototype was spotted in a convoy with an Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and BMW 7 Series.

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Based on the latest MLB platform for front- and all-wheel drive cars with longitudinal engines, the Q8 is very closely related to Q7 SUV. While the Q7 is big, boxy and spacious, the Q8 has been designed to be its sportier sibling.

To that end, it sits lower to the ground, has a lower overall height, shorter rear overhangs, and a raked back tailgate. It will also be one of the first vehicles designed under of the guidance of Marc Lichte, Audi’s chief of design.

Lichte has gone on the record saying that future Audi models will have greater differentiation from each other.

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Motivation for the Q8 will likely come from a selection drivetrains already used by Q7. Rumour has it that an RS Q8 Concept will debut at the upcoming Geneva motor show with a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 churning out about 445kW/700Nm.

The original Q8 Concept was powered by a plug-in hybrid drivetrain with a total of 330kW of power and 700Nm of torque.

It’s expected that the Audi Q8 will go on sale worldwide during 2018.

MORE: Audi Q8 news




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