Audi Q8 'coupe' SUV confirmed

Audi's management team has given the go-ahead for a new "coupe" SUV, which will be known as the Audi Q8.
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Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's technical chief, told Autocar at the Los Angeles auto show: "The Q8 will come. It will be something new, following designs established on the Prologue concept."

Similar to the relationship between the BMW X3 and X4, as well as the X5 and X6, the Q8 will be based on the next Q7, but with a greater emphasis on style and performance. In Hackenberg's words, the Q8 "will be positioned as something more emotional and more sporty than the Q7. The Q7 will be a car for seven people, the Q8 will be more coupe like."

According to Hackenberg, the upcoming second-generation Q7 will be one of the last Audis to feature the brand's current styling ethos. Current design chief, Marc Lichte, who was appointed earlier this year, came on-board too late to significantly influence the design of the next-gen Q7.

As such, the Q8 is expected to be visually quite different to the Q7. Both cars will be based on the Volkswagen's Group MLB architecture that caters for front- and all-wheel drive cars with a longitudinal engine.

Now that the Q8 has received official approval, it will take around three years to complete all the necessary design, engineering and testing work. When the Q8 does go on sale, it will be one of a barrage of "coupe" SUVs from Audi, which will include the Q2 (or A2Q) and the Q6.

The Q8 will likely share most of its drivetrain options, expected to be a selection of V6 and V8 petrol and diesel motors, with the next-gen Q7. A plug-in hybrid model is highly likely and there's an outside chance, according to the British magazine, of an all-electric variant.