Audi Q8 confirmed for production

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Audi Q7
Audi Q7 - Credit: Audi

Audi has confirmed that it will be creating a new flagship SUV model, badged Q8, Autocar has reported.

The company's technical boss, Ulrich Hackenberg, broke the news at this week's Los Angeles motor show. The new model will rival sporting, coupe-styled SUVs such as the BMW X6 and Range Rover Sport, as well as the forthcoming Mercedes MLC.

It will share its underpinnings with the new Q7, which is due to make its public debut at the Detroit motor show in January.

Speaking to Autocar, Hackenberg said: "The Q8 will come. It will be something new, following designs established on the Prologue concept. It will be positioned as something more emotional and more sporty than the Q7. The Q7 will be a car for seven people, the Q8 will be more coupe like."

However, while the Q8 will crib the design of the stunning Prologue, the new Q7 will be the last to exhibit Audi's current design language, the brand's new chief designer, Marc Lichte, having arrived at the company too late into the car's development process.

Having been given the green light for production, the Q8 is currently undergoing development and is expected to reach showrooms within the next three years.

Destined to sit at the top of Audi's SUV lineup, the Q8 will be a high-riding alternative to the marque's flagship A8 saloon and has a projected starting price of around £50,000.

The Q8 forms part of Audi's ambitious plan to increase its product portfolio by 20 per cent over the next three years, with 10 brand new models due to reach showrooms. Joining the Q8 will be further SUVs, including smaller Q1 and Q2 models.