Plug-in hybrid variant of new coupe-styled crossover spotted during cold weather testing, ahead of a likely reveal later this year.
Spy photographers have snapped a development prototype believed to be the upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the Audi Q8 in Europe this week.
We already know what the Q8 looks like, so there's no reason to apply heavy camouflage to the swoopy crossover's body.
Photographers pointed out the additional flap for the charge port on the left rear quarter panel, along with yellow stickers indicating this is a hybrid test vehicle.
The prototype seen here is also towing a large trailer, indicating Audi is making sure the PHEV is capable of towing heavy loads.
Last month at the Geneva motor show, Audi presented a range of new 'TFSI e' plug-in hybrids based on the Q5, A6, A7 and A8, with the new name structure leaving the 'e-tron' badge for pure-electric vehicles.
Three different powertrains are available depending on model line, with the Q5, A6 and A7 available in 50 TFSI e or 55 TFSI e trims, while the A8 offers 55 TFSI e and 60 TFSI e versions.
In models badged 50 TFSI e, there's a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to an electric motor integrated into the transmission, making for combined outputs of 299hp (223kW) and 450Nm.
The 55 TFSI e draws upon a larger 3.0-litre turbocharged V6 with the same electric motor setup, good for 367hp (273kW) and 500Nm. Finally, the 60 TFSI e bumps those figures up to 449hp (330kW) and 700Nm.
Both the 50 and 55 TFSI e variants use a seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission, while the 60 TFSI e gets an eight-speed torque converter automatic.
It's expected the Q8 plug-in hybrid range will include at least the 55 TFSI e given its V6-only range at the moment, though Audi could add the four-cylinder variant or flagship 60 TFSI e too given the Q8's flagship status in the Audi range.
Regardless, all TFSI e models currently feature a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery pack that allows for over 40 kilometres of electric-only range on the stricter WLTP regime. The Q8 should quote the same.
In terms of when we'll see it revealed, the Q8 TFSI e will likely make its debut later this year, potentially at the Frankfurt motor show in September.
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