Upcoming Audi Q8 spied in Finland

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The spy photos reflect much of what was previewed in teasers that Audi released last month. Photo credit: SPIED BILDE

Spy photographers spotted the soon-to-be unveiled Audi Q8 testing in Finland, providing a good idea of what will be shown at the Detroit auto show next week.

Technically, while what Audi will be showing in Detroit is a concept, the automaker says it will be near-production. The spy photos reflect much of what was previewed in teasers that Audi released last month, including the vehicle’s aggressive stance, striking grille and flat roof line. Despite the flat roof line, Audi says the Q8 has a spacious interior with seating for four.

The Q8’s octagonal single-frame grille is considerably wider than the grille on Audi’s current production models. Many design elements are reminiscent of the 1980s Ur-quattro, Audi said, including the extremely flat but very wide C-pillar and the prominent flared shoulders above the wheels.

The spy photos also show the Q8’s headlights and taillights fitting in with the rest of the brand’s design language.

“With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line,” said Audi’s design chief, Marc Lichte in December. “Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige.”

The production Q8, expected to launch in 2018, will be built on Volkswagen Group’s newest MLB platform also used by the Q7 and Bentley Bentayga.

Audi CEO Rupert Stadler announced the brand’s plans for the Q8 in 2015, saying the SUV would be aimed at markets such as the U.S., China and the Middle East, where large coupelike SUVs are in high demand.

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