Audi ’s upcoming Q8 sports SUV is due for production in 2017 and will be squarely aimed at the BMW X6 , Range Rover Sport ,Mercedes MLC , and Porsche Cayenne — all likely contenders in performance SUV segment.
But word is out that Audi has a special version of the Q8 readying for production — the Q8 e-tron. This all-electric SUV will be aimed directly at the upcoming Tesla Model X SUV.
The good folks over at AutoCar have reports from senior company sources that the battery and electric powertrain technology in the upcoming Audi R8 e-tron supercar is destined for the Q8 e-tron as well. Audi engineers are said to be reaching for a 370-mile, all-electric range from the SUV with help from a projected increase in battery pack performance over the coming years. While the R8 e-tron is currently still in development, its range is roughly 250 miles on a single charge and power output is rated at 376 horsepower.
The Q8 e-tron will likely feature an all-wheel-drive setup to make most of its SUV roots while on uneven terrain. On the track or drag strip, this AWD system will provide superior traction when .
The design of the Q8 has a sportier, more coupe-like flow to both the roof and belt lines. Its lower, sloping roofline sandwiches smaller windows in between the high and rising beltline in the same fashion Mercedes has done with its CLA four-door coupes.
This move represents Audi’s suspicion that demand will steeply rise for zero-emissions luxury vehicles perfectly matched for in-city use in the near future. Among the Q8 e-tron, Audi will offer conventional gasoline, diesel and a plug-in hybrid powertrains for the upcoming SUV as well.
Click past the jump to read more the on Audi Q8 and Tesla Model X
Note: Future Audi Q7 pictured here.
Pictured is the Q2 concept
The Q8 will be directly competing with such company as the BMW X6, Ranger Rover Sport, Mercedes MLC and Porsche Cayenne in the ultra-lux SUV segment. Although the breaking news here is about the e-tron version, the Q8 will come to market with a standard gasoline engine, a TDI diesel torque monster, and a plug-in hybrid model. And knowing Audi, an SQ8 will likely be in the works.
The vast range of powertrain options should give the Q8 the upper hand in direct competitions with its European neighbors. It also boasts a heavy uses of lightweight aluminum materials all part of the modular MLB-evo platform underpinning other future Audi vehicles. The Q8 is expected to start production in 2017.
The Model X is Tesla ’s latest iteration of the same beautiful design that made the Model S so enviable. An all-wheel-drive setup powered by Tesla’s 80kW electric motors provide the zero-emissions locomotion.
Word is still out on when the Model X will enter production as the dates have been moved around quite a bit. Stay tuned to TopSpeed for any breaking news on this and all other models from around the world.