Audi Q8 'coupe' on the way

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Audi has confirmed it will bookend its SUV range with all-new derivatives — a Q1 baby crossover and a range-topping Q8 style leader.

The company used its annual press conference in Europe overnight — on the back of the Geneva motor show — to put the spotlight on its planned model expansion, as well as its move into electrification led by the R8 e-tron bellwether.

The expansion focuses on SUVs, with the Mini Countryman-rivalling Q1 confirmed for 2016 and the large Q8 a little further down the track. The Q8 will be based on the new Q7, but will replace that car’s conservative family-focus with something sportier.

“The Q8 will come,” said Audi’s head of technical development Ulrich Hackenberg.

“It will be something new, following designs established on the Prologue concept. It 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.”

Audi prologue Avant

Expect mechanical carryover from the Q7, led by the company’s new plug-in powertrain premiered last week in Geneva.

As said, the lines will echo those of the stunning Prologue Avant Concept (pictured above) shown last week in Geneva, which was created to show the intended direction of new design chief Marc Lichte.

As we reported earlier, expect also to see an Audi Q6 emerge soon, spun off the all-new Q5 due to appear in the first half 2016. Such a vehicle will in all likelihood sit somewhere between a BMW X4 and X6 in size. Audi has also confirmed a long-range EV version with bits from the R8 e-tron.

Audi’s aggressive growth plan is set to see its product portfolio expand from the current 52 models to more than 60 over the next five years.