Audi Q8 SUV Flagship Debuts

PIX: Audi Q8 SUV

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Audi will debut a near-production concept for its Q8 Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) flagship at the Detroit auto show next month.

The Q8 will compete with the upcoming BMW X7 coupe-styled, full-size SUV.

The concept has the “typical spaciousness of an SUV with elegance of a coupe,” Audi said in a statement.

“With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” Audi’s design chief, Marc Lichte, said in the statement.

The concept has a spacious interior with seating for four despite its flat roof line, Audi said.

The car’s octagonal single frame grille is considerably wider than the grille on Audi’s current production models. Many design elements are reminiscent of the 1980s Ur-quattro, Audi said, including the extremely flat but very wide C pillar and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler announced the brand’s plans for the Q8 last year, saying the SUV would be aimed at markets such as the U.S., China and the Middle East, where large coupe-styled SUVs are in high demand.

The production Q8 will be built on Volkswagen Group’s newest MLB platform also used by the Q7 and Bentley Bentayga. The Q8 is expected to launch in 2018.