"The new face of the Q family."
During Audi's annual press conference in Ingolstadt, Board of Management Member for Technical Development, Peter Mertens, officially confirmed the company would introduce the Q8 during 2018. "We are really mixing up the SUV segment," Mertens announced in his speech. "This year and next, we will launch eleven new derivatives or completely new Q models, such as the new face of the Q family, the Audi Q8, which we will present in Shanghai in June."
Once introduced, the Q8 will take over the mantle as Audi's flagship SUV, a role long owned by the Q7 since it was first introduced 15 years ago. The two will share a platform, but the Q8 will gain more sex appeal and a more luxurious cabin. Audi already gave us a fairly good idea of its plans for the Q8 with a concept in 2017. If it stays true to the concept, it will depart from the Q7's boxier styling for a more organic yet chiseled look, with bigger hips, a wider grille, and a more rakish cabin. Like the concept, it will likely be evocative of a sporty car, without going too far, like the BMW X6.
It's presumed the majority of the interior's content will be similar to what's on tap in the company's flagship A8 sedan. Look for gargantuan digital screens spreading the length of the cabin, semi-autonomous features, a suite of active safety systems, and the latest take on Audi's ever-evolving minimalist interior design language. There's very little information on what will power the Q8 at this point, but it's fairly likely that we'll see S and maybe even an RS version eventually. The Q8 will be part of a very busy 2018 for Audi. It plans to introduce some kind of new product once every three weeks, which will be headlined by the Q8, the new A6, and the company's first all-electric SUV, the e-tron Quattro.