2017 Audi Q8 Sport Concept. Audi showcases their first petrol engine with electric-powered compressor technology.
Hot on the tails of the recently unveiled Audi Q8 concept, comes this, the Q8 sport concept. It features the same, curvaceous design with an aggressive front end, along with those very clean flanks and fastback style rear. But, it’s got even more road presence thanks to new design elements. However, it’s the engine that really grabbed our attention.
The Q8 sport benefits from another first from Audi – a brand new 3.0 TFSI V6 twin-turbo unit, as used in the latest RS5 – but with the addition of an electric-powered compressor (EPC) and a mild hybrid (Mhev) system. Similar to the 4.0 TDI with EPC used in the SQ7, the 3.0 TFSI offers 476hp and 700Nm – which should translate to rather potent performance. 0-62mph is said to take just 4.7secs, with a top speed of 170mph achievable. The electricpowered compressor is mounted close to the engine and can accelerate to 70,000rpm in less than 250 milliseconds. So power is always available, even before the traditional gas-powered turbos have begun to spool up. Having tested a similar system in the diesel-powered SQ7, we have to say it is extremely effective, delivering serious punch, from very low revs.
However, Audi says the Q8 also has a theoretical range of 745 miles, thanks to the Mhev hybrid technology, which charges the lithium-ion battery by recuperating energy under braking. With a capacity of 0.9kWh, it means the Q8 sport has enough power to move slowly in stop start traffic, or when parking, with the engine switched off – made possible by adopting the 48-volt electric system used in the SQ7.
If it works well on the 3.0 TFSI, then the next generation of 4.0 TFSI in the RS6 and RS7 could offer even more impressive performance, utilising EPC technology.
Although the Q8 sport is being shown as a concept, there’s likely to be a production version along very soon, just as there was with the SQ7. So we’ll stick our necks out here and estimate an autumn launch, with S and possibly even RS models to follow.
Main pic: SUV offers striking looks. Below: Interior is dominated by touchscreens.
SPECIFICATION 2017 Audi Q8 sport concept
Engine 3.0 TFSI V6 twin-turbo with EPC and Mhev
Power 476hp and 700Nm
Performance 0-62mph: 4.7secs
Top speed: 170mph