It’s been almost exactly one year since Audi revealed its Q8 concept at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, so it seems fitting that spy photographers caught the production model almost completely uncovered. Also impressive is the fact that the exterior has survived without being toned down much. In fact, in one area, it’s actually a bit more aggressive.
At the front, the flagship Audi crossover is unmistakably Audi with a full-face, geometric grille flanked by crisp headlights at the top. While similar to the hexagonal grille on the new A8 and A7, the Q8‘s is actually octagonal. And instead of just horizontal bars, the grille has an egg crate mesh pattern. The vertical bars are a bit deeper, and will probably have chrome accents to make them stand out, as on the concept. The headlights deviate from the concept, though, as they have fang-like extensions on the far edges.
Other holdovers from the concept include the roofline and fenders. It has a rakish rear hatch, and a large glass area that doesn’t extend far past the doors. It gives the crossover SUV a sporty, tidy shape. The Q8 also has the exaggerated fender lines above the wheels that are quickly becoming an Audi staple. It looks like on this model, though, the fender flares are in a contrast color, rather than the body-color pieces on the concept.
The back of the Q8 is the most toned-down. The simple lines of light used on the concept have given way for an iteration of Audi’s full width taillights most similar to that on the A8 sedan. The rear bumper also loses the aggressive faux diffuser, and it gains more conventional exhaust outlets.
We shouldn’t have long to wait for the Q8’s full, official reveal. The crossover is slated to begin production this year. As such, we would expect to see it shown at the Geneva or New York shows at the earliest, or perhaps later at the Paris show in the fall.