German automaker Audi hopes to tap into a new segment of the full-size class with the release of the Q8 Concept Car today at the North American International Auto Show, offering an elegant alternative to the traditionally robust nature of sports utility vehicles.
“The Q8 concept is an Audi in peak form. It demonstrates the strengths of our brand in both technology and design while providing a glimpse at a future full-size, production SUV,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, member of Audi’s board of management for sales and marketing. “With its next-generation display and control solutions, we are enabling customers to experience connectivity in a whole new way.”
Voggenreiter says the Q8 concept combines the spaciousness of an SUV with the sleek, sloping roofline of a coupe. The concept is the basis for a plug-in hybrid production model projected to be on the market in 2018. It also utilizes large touchscreens in the cockpit and contains an expanded version of the Audi virtual cockpit and a contact-analogue head-up display, which uses augmented reality technology to improve driver safety and connectivity.
Audi’s sales increased 4 percent to more than 210,000 in the U.S. last year.