At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show advanced Electrically Powered Compressor (EPC) technology first used by Audi in the SQ7 TDI will flex its muscle in a TFSI petrol engine for the first time in the Audi Q8 sport concept.
Demonstrating the vision Audi’s developers and designers have for the dynamic yet efficient SUV of tomorrow, the latest Q8 study combines its EPC with a six-cylinder TFSI and a mild hybrid system – a world first that enables it to deliver an exceptional 476PS output with the efficiency of a four-cylinder equivalent.
Augmented by the compressor and Mhev system the 3.0 TFSI engine powers the Q8 sport concept from 0 – 62mph in just 4.7 seconds and keeps going until it reaches its top speed of 170mph.
Meanwhile, its range of more than 745 miles ensures it is also suitable for long journeys. Thanks to the superb recuperation performance of 20 kW, this imposing SUV holds a considerable fuel economy advantage over a model equipped with a regular TFSI six-cylinder engine without mHEV system, and its CO2 output also shows a 25 g/km improvement.
“The drive system of the Audi Q8 sport concept is a major step towards optimising efficiency and sustainability in large-volume series production. The combination of mild hybrid technology and a TFSI engine sets a new benchmark for the synthesis of electromobility and combustion engines. In the future, this combination will be used in many Audi models,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI AG.
At first glance, it is clearly a highly dynamic and luxurious Audi – that’s how the Audi Q8 concept study was received at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show. The debutant in Geneva is an even more sporty variation of this composition and is also an elegant alternative to the robust presence of a classic Sport Utility Vehicle. The Q8 and Q8 sport concept are synonymous with prestige and technology in all areas.
At 5.02 metres long, the Audi Q8 sport concept makes an impressive mark on the luxury class. Thanks to a wheelbase of three metres, the show car offers plenty of space for passengers and luggage. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roofline, even the rear-seat passengers enjoy ample head and shoulder room. The new operating concept uses large touchscreens in the cockpit, rounded out by an expanded version of the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact-analogue head-up display. The latter uses intelligent augmented reality technology that merges the real and the virtual worlds.
Viewed from the front, the 2.05 metre wide Audi Q8 sport concept looks imposing. A distinguishing feature here is the octagonal Singleframe grille. It is a sculpted piece and is significantly wider than in today’s Audi production models. Its surface has a honeycomb lattice structure overlayed with aluminium segments, whilst the surround is painted in a contrasting colour. As is typical of Audi Sport models, the outer air inlets are much larger compared with the basic model – a sign of the greater air requirements of the high-performance power unit. A distinctive body-coloured blade forms the bottom edge of the bumper.
The flat, wedge-shaped headlights of the Audi Q8 sport concept are integrated into the front end and, from a design perspective, are connected with the adjoining air inlets. The individual light elements have a glass cover, but the entire headlight units are not enclosed. This creates the impression that they are free in space. Their aluminium housing carries over the sculpture of the Singleframe. An x-shaped, blue laser light signature accentuates the digital Matrix laser technology used for the low and high beams. Broken down into more than one million pixels, their light can illuminate the road in high resolution and with precise control. Located below the edge of the bonnet is a narrow LED light guide that emits the light for the dynamic turn signals and the daytime running lights. It wraps around the outside of the headlights, where its ribs create an innovative e-tron signature. All lighting functions are dynamic.
The interior of the Audi Q8 sport concept offers opulent spaciousness for four persons and their large suitcases. The luggage compartment has a capacity of 630 litres. Widely stretched lines lend the cockpit an elegant ambiance. Virtually floating above the centre tunnel is a console for the shift-by-wire lever with which the driver controls the eight-speed tiptronic transmission purely electronically.
The wrap-around begins in the front doors. This large, horizontal arc runs along the lower edge of the windscreen and frames both the driver’s and front passenger’s seats without hemming in the occupants. The sport seats as well as the two individual seats in the rear are made up of segments that appear to be separate geometric bodies, from the pronounced side bolsters to the head restraints. A horizontal aluminium trim piece divides the backrests at the height of the window belt line.
The instrument panel with its distinctly horizontal character descends in steps toward the interior. The central control and display surfaces are integrated into the “black panel” – a glossy black strip framed by an aluminium surround. When switched off, the screen is invisibly embedded in the surface and the lines flow harmoniously. When the display is in operation, it assimilates perfectly into the design line. In the front passenger area, the black panel features a graphical quattro badge. The arrow-shaped inlays in the doors pick up the expressive design. Filigree aluminium bars integrated into them serve as door openers. When dark, LED light guides illuminate the interior with white light.
The colours and materials in the Audi Q8 sport concept provide for a cool and dynamic atmosphere. One highlight is the three-dimensional, engineered grain on the instrument panel, doors and floor. High-gloss carbon-fibre applications with a new, abstract woven structure, as well as aluminium strips and frames set accents. Their brushed finish is comparatively dark. Brightness increases gradually from the headlining to the centre console in graduated grey tones from steel grey to pastel silver.
The technical materials in the Audi Q8 sport concept contrast with the soft surfaces. The seats are covered in a combination of Fine Nappa leather and Nubuk leather, both in pastel silver. The upholstery is pulled around the trim piece that divides the backrests – here, the inside becomes the outside. The head restraints are covered with a structured textile of a colour similar to that of the leather elements.