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Audi unveils new plug-in electric Q8 SUV ahead of fully-electric quattro

Audi at the 2017 American Auto Show in Detroit

Audi’s first all-electric vehicle is expected to hit the market in 2018 and be the first of a series of upcoming all-electric vehicles by the Volkswagen group. Before going all-electric, Audi is introducing its second plug-in electric vehicle after the Audi A3 e-tron: a new Audi Q8 SUV.

What is particularly interesting is that the German automaker claims it will bring the vehicle to production very quickly after having unveiled it just this week at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

Audi says that the vehicle will be to market for the 2018 lineup and therefore, it should be available around the same time has the all-electric e-tron quattro.

The Audi Q8 is equipped with a 17.9 kWh battery pack battery pack located in the rear and made of 104 prismatic lithium-ion cells. The automaker claims that it enables an electric range of 60 kilometers (37.3 mi), and a total range of up to 1,000 kilometers (621.4 mi) with the gas-powered engine.

That’s based on the NEDC standard and therefore, the EPA-estimated range or real-world all-electric range should be closer to 20-25 miles.

A full charge can be achieved in about two and a half hours with the 7.2 kW onboard charger.

Audi described the performance of the vehicle in a press release:

“The plug-in hybrid combines sporty performance with high efficiency. The combustion engine is a 3.0 TFSI producing 245 kW (333 hp) and a maximum of 500 Nm (368.8 lb-ft) of torque. The electric motor generates 100 kW of power and 330 Nm (243.4 lb-ft). Together with a decoupler, it is integrated into the eight-speed tiptronic. The complete system produces 330 kW and 700 Nm (516.3 lb-ft) of torque. The Audi Q8 concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph).”

The Q8 is full-size SUV at 5.02 meters (16.5 ft) long, 2.04-meter-wide (6.7 ft), 1.70 meters (5.6 ft) tall and with a wheelbase of three meters (9.8 ft).

The interior is covered with touchscreen displays even between the seats in the front and back of the vehicle.

“All other monitors in the Audi Q8 concept are touch displays. The great strength of this principle is the direct, fast and intuitive operation. Drivers select each function exactly where they see it. Audi was also able to reduce the number of buttons, switches and levers thanks to the touchscreens. The interior now appears even neater and cleaner.”

Here’s a gallery of the interior:

The automaker didn’t go into details about the price, but it would be expected to be priced above the Audi Q7, which has a starting MSRP of $49,000. As for the all-electric SUV, it should fit in the lineup just over the Audi Q5.

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