SUVs

Audi Q8's bold new face rendered

With brash new looks, Audi's nearly here range-topping SUV appears ready for prime time.

Audi

Audi's been teasing its forthcoming Q8 for some time now, and if its alphanumeric name didn't tip you off enough already, its aggressive front end might: This will be the German automaker's new flagship SUV.

There's no need to be startled by the rendering shown here, the production Q8's appearance looks to have been faithfully telegraphed by the Q8 Concept shown at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show. In the main, that means the Q8's face will be dominated by an aggressively prominent hexagonal grille with a thick, chamfered frame and vertical slats, along with massive outboard air intakes and scowling headlamps.

The Q8, which is expected to debut at an event in Shanghai in early June, will ride atop the Volkswagen Group's MLB platform, a modular architecture that already underpins Audi's more demure and family-oriented three-row Q7 SUV, along with high-performance, high-dollar models like the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini's first crossover, the Urus.  

Speaking of Lamborghini, Audi previously revealed a look at the slope-backed Q8's rump, complete with its full-band taillight treatment. The latter view looks somewhat reminiscent of the Urus to Roadshow editor Andrew Krok.

While the Q8 Concept show vehicle debuted with a plug-in hybrid powertrain promising 443 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, it's as-yet unclear what will power the production Q8. Based on Audi's movements lately, a 48-volt-based mild hybrid system paired to a turbocharged engine seems like a safe bet.