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Audi’s new concept ushers in its new design language for SUVs and will run an electrichybrid powertrain

THE 2017 Audi Q8 concept will be showcased at the upcoming North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January. Until its premiere— scheduled for 6.30 pm IST on January 9—everything reported about this car will be pure speculation.

Audi claims that there are plenty of design cues on the Q8 that are inspired by the 1980s’ Ur-quat tro – for instance, the ‘extremely flat but very wide C-pos t , and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels’.

The ‘octagonal singleframe’ of the upcoming SUV is also said to be wider than anything in the German carmaker’s current range of cars. From the images teased, it’s evident that the singleframe front grille that’s a signature of the four rings, bears a slightly tweaked design, emphasised by the thick black chrome strip bordering it and the sharp dual fins running perpendicular to the horizontal slats.

The arrangement of the daytime running lamps and LED cluster inside the headlights looks different too. There’s also a mention of “dynamic three-dimensional sculpting” highlighted by the muscular front bumper with massive air intakes integrated into it. The ‘e-tron’ badge on the chin blade connecting the two air dams hints at the electric-hybrid powertrain of the SUV.

Once the Q8 e-tron is launched, its contenders would be the Porsche Cayenne, the BMW X6, and the Mercedes- Benz GLE. According to Audi head of design, Marc Lichte, “The design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige.” The press release further quotes him saying, “We believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.” Details: audi.com

—Agrima Joshua @Agrimonious

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