The Audi Q8 just got a little more interesting, with the German brand unveiling the new Audi Q8 sport concept at the 2017 Geneva motor show.
The new Audi Q8 model eschews the plug-in hybrid drivetrain of the original Q8 concept (shown just a few months ago at the Detroit motor show) and shoehorns a 3.0-litre TFSI twin-turbocharged petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology under its bodywork.
The new engine features a 20kW energy recuperation system, with the starter generator located between the crankshaft and the transmission handling energy recuperation and, when required, it works in the opposite application as an additional electric motor, with a 48-volt electrical system keeping electrical power on tap.
The 0.9kWh lithium-ion battery system is located under the luggage compartment, and the battery offers enough to keep the car moving slowly in stop-start traffic while leaving the combustion engine switched off, and it can be parked using electricity only. This is a step beyond the Audi SQ7, which has a mild hybrid system for additional boost, but no separate electric motor assisting with low-speed mobility.
Audi claims that the drivetrain is good for 350kW of power and 700Nm of torque, with the 5.02-metre-long SUV able to sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.7 seconds - a massive 0.7sec faster than the regular Q8. Its top speed is 275km/h, but Audi still claims the car has range of up to 1200km from its 85-litre tank.
There's no specific fuel use figure, but Audi claims the model offers "eight-cylinder performance with the consumption of a four-cylinder", and that "compared with a similar engine without mild hybrid system, the consumption reduces by more than a litre per 100 kilometres, despite serving up 20 kW of additional power".
Being the sport concept, there are some different design cues - the stunning Krypton Orange paint, for instance, while it rolls on enormous 23-inch wheels coated in 305/35 rubber. Inside there is Nappa/Nubuk leather trim on all four seats, while the brand's minimalist interior trimming - as is expected to be mimicked on the upcoming new-generation A8 luxury sedan that debuts later this year - makes for a clutter-free cabin.
The new Audi Q8 will make its production debut in 2018, and is expected to be high on the wanted list for Audi Australia. We'd expect it to arrive in showrooms around the country in 2019.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Audi Q8 sport concept.