The concept shown in Detroit was a full-sized sport utility with a plug-in hybrid powertrain. We likened its grille to that of Richard Kiel as Jaws in the James Bond films. The Audi Q8 sport concept is mellowed by comparison, with a more contemporary honeycomb grille and a sportier look thanks to wider fender flares (12 mm/0.5 inches added to the wheel arches).
A roof-edge spoiler, aluminum diffuser, and oval tailpipes for the exhaust are other changes made to the exterior of the Audi R8 sport concept. The interior is similar to that shown in Detroit, relying largely on big touchscreens and and an analog head-up display in the "Audi virtual cockpit." This is a combination of augmented reality technology and standard vehicle controls to create an enhanced driving experience, Audi says.
What's really new with the Audi Q8 sport concept, though, is the drivetrain. Unlike the PHEV shown in Detroit, this concept is a mildly hybrid muscle car in SUV form. A 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine utilizes a mild hybrid system to improve fuel efficiency by removing accessories from the engine and making them electric rather than engine-powered. The compressor is electric-powered, which is a world-first Audi says. This allows the 3.0L engine's full 476 horsepower (350 kW) and 516 foot pounds (700 Nm) of torque to be sent to the wheels.
This powerful system gives the Audi Q8 sport concept a claimed cruising range of 1,200 km (746 miles) and a top speed of 170.9 mph (225 km/h). Audi says that the Q8 sport concept's 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time is only 4.7 seconds – phenomenal for a full-sized SUV.
The company has stated that the Q8 concepts shown in Detroit and Geneva are precursors to planned production models coming soon.