Audi has kicked off the new year with three highlights:with the Audi Q8 concept car, the premium carmaker is previewing a future production model at the Detroit Motor Show. At the same time, the brand with the four rings is celebrating the world premiere of the Audi SQ5 TFSI and it also publicly presenting the A5/S5 Cabriolet for the first time.
A synthesis of coupé and SUV: the Audi Q8 concept
Unsurpassed prestige and sportiness – that’s what Audi says that the Q8 concept represents. Audi adds that it combines the typical spaciousness of an SUV with the emotional styling of a coupé. And it says that it is tapping into a new segment in the full-size category with this car.
At the same time the brand is offering a preview of its future direction in design styling with the concept car. Many elements are reminiscent of Audi’s original Ur-quattro from the 1980s, including the exceptionally flat and wide C pillars as well as the powerful, flared shoulders over the wheels.
Despite the flat roofline, the show car offers plenty of room for four people as well as lots of luggage. Widely stretched lines lend the interior a sporty as well as elegant ambiance. The new control concept relies on large touch-screens, supplemented with an enhanced Audi virtual cockpit and a contact analogue head-up display that uses intelligent augmented reality technology to merge virtual indicators with the real world. For example, a navigation arrow will appear in the same position as an actual arrow on the street. The drive system and suspension feature high-end technologies from volume production.
Audi says that the powerful and highly efficient plug-in hybrid of the Audi Q8 concept provides total system output of 330 kW and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. Power is delivered confidently to the road via quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Air suspension and ceramic brake discs round out the impressive technology package. The concept car is the basis for a production model that Audi will introduce into the market in 2018.
V6 power and superior dynamics: the Audi SQ5 TFSI
The sportiest variant in the new Q5 model line also celebrated its world premiere with the debut of the Audi SQ5 TFSI at the Detroit Motor Show. The turbocharged three-liter V6 engine outputs 260 kW (354 hp) and delivers 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque at just 1,370 revolutions per minute. With this, the top model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds. The quattro permanent all-wheel drive supports dynamic driving behavior in combination with the smooth-shifting eight-speed tiptronic. More on that later.
Open to intense driving pleasure: the Audi A5/S5 Cabriolet
Audi is completing the A5 family. Following the Coupé and Sportback, the brand presented the new A5/S5 Cabriolet for the first time in Detroit. Its design is based on the sleek lines of the Coupé. The rear window is now flatter and emphasizes the sporty looks, as do the short overhangs and the long wraparound hood with power dome.
The classic soft top delivers outstanding aero-acoustics and now has a convenience opening function: Just a quick pull of the switch is all it takes to open or close the soft top fully automatically – even while driving up to 50 km/h (31.1 mph).
Also included in the new A5/S5 Cabriolet are the latest technical connectivity features and driver assistance systems. The quattro drive lends the midsize Cabriolet superb traction and dynamic handling. Adaptive dampers are available as an option. They are incorporated into the standard Audi drive select dynamic handling system and allow the driver to choose between a sporty or comfortable driving experience. New engines for the Audi S5 offer powerful performance, with 190 hp in the 2.0 TDI and 2.0 TFSI, and 354 hp in the 3.0 TFSI. T he new midsize Cabriolet will be in dealerships in European countries in March, so more about that then.