Luxury sport-utilities are in high demand these days and Audi’s Q8 sport concept only serves to whet the appetite for those longing for another performance-based SUV with great looks.
The Q8 has been floating around the auto show circuit as the German maker continues to build some momentum for the new model that is expected to move from “concept” to “production” at some point as the SUV complement to the A8.
However, until that time, detail is king with the Q8 and the news now is the ute’s powertrain. The combination of a 3.0 TFSI six-cylinder engine with a mild hybrid system and an electric-powered compressor is a world first.
The comb results in a 476 horsepower ute that completes the 0 to 62 mph run in 4.7 seconds with a top speed of just over 170 mph. Not only that, it has a cruising range of more than 745 miles.
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“The drive system of the Audi Q8 sport concept is a major step towards optimizing efficiency and sustainability in large-volume series production,” says Rupert Stadler, chairman of the Board of Management at Audi AG.
“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.”
This set up boasts a number of advantages, including the fact that the energy recovered as part of recuperation can, if required, be used to increase performance, Audi notes. During boost operation – where the combustion engine and electric motor are used simultaneously – the electric motor’s additional 20 kW of output and its torque of 125.4 lb-ft open up a total of 350 kW of power to the engine and bring its total torque up to 516.3 lb-ft. The result is instant power and response no matter how fast you are going at the time.
In addition to the two exhaust gas turbochargers, the electric powered compressor provides the Q8 sport concept with an additional kick by supplying the three-liter six-cylinder engine with fresh air.
(Click Here for more about the Q8 concept.)
The electric powered compressor supports the turbochargers at times when the exhaust gas is insufficient for rapid development of power. It therefore opens up delay-free acceleration to the V6 gasoline engine – something previously only known to diesel engines and electric motors. It’s a recipe for success which already works impressively in the series production Audi SQ7.
Though roughly the same size as the current Audi Q7, at just over 197 inches in length and 77.6 inches in width, the five-door Q8 is reportedly feature an even more luxurious cabin than the German brand’s current range-topping SUV – in line with what one might expect of an A8 alternative.
Expect more lavish seating and interior trim, along with OLED high-definition digital displays. The new model adopts a 48-volt power system to handle all the new electronic systems.
Audi Q8 sport concept merges with a groundbreaking control and display concept. Information and commands are passed primarily through touch displays augmented by the Audi virtual cockpit future and a contact-analogue head-up display. All displays feature a new “digital design” that concentrates systematically on only the most important things.
The contact-analogue head-up display projects important displays onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of view, seemingly placing them in the real environment. A navigation arrow, for example, appears in the same position as an actual arrow on the road – an intelligent application of augmented reality. The notifications from the driver assistance systems also merge the virtual and physical worlds.
The MMI display in center of the dashboard is used to control the infotainment system and vehicle settings. A display for the climate control system is integrated into the diagonally sloping section of the center console.
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While using this display, the driver’s wrist can be rested comfortably on the low selector lever of the eight-speed tiptronic. If the sensors in the seat detect a front-seat passenger, the touchscreen shows their climate control settings. If the driver is alone, this function is deactivated. Another smaller touchscreen to the left of the steering wheel is reserved for the lighting functions.
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