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This was hard for us to process right off the bat, given the front grille that can only be described as a "maw".

Audi already produces a Q7 e-tron and the appearance of its plug-in hybrid system in the Q8 Concept strongly hints that a production Q8 e-tron is on the cards. Simple styling cues, as is the hallmark of the German brand, make for a great-looking SUV. That way, rear-seat passengers get in on the techiness, too.

The concept is powered by a plug-in hybrid-system that combines a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and an electric motor. Coupled with an electric motor developing 134 horses and 243 lb-ft of twist, the front-mounted drivetrain turns out a combined 443 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.

At the back, the LED lights stretch across the width of the concept; Audi says this will be a signature on future e-tron models. It is also equipped with a 17.9kWh lithium ion battery which, the company claims, is good for 37 miles and can be charged in approximately 90 minutes. You also get a bunch of autonomous-ish safety features, including "traffic jam assist", "active lane assist" and "Audi pre sense city".

Drivers can choose between three driving modes in the Q8, which offer either purely electric or purely petrol power, or a combination.

The Q8 is destined to sit alongside Audi's other SUV models, and offer buyers a more style-oriented choice as opposed to the practical and luxurious Q7, which is now one of our favourite large SUVs. Audi plans to bring the auto to market in 2018.

Audi Q8 Concept front three quarter 02

As we've seen in previous production Audi EVs, there's smart control over the powertrain.

According to official details, Audi's 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit display offers more functionality and a higher resolution.

Finally, the chassis of the Q8 concept is based on a big all-wheel drive drivetrain with a wide track and individual torque control at each wheel.

The lights are computer controlled and dynamically change to suit the road conditions and are even capable of projecting pedestrian crossings onto the street or to put path lines down for the driver to follow in tighter roadwork situations.

In terms of dynamics, the SQ5 is equipped with adaptive air suspension and an optional sport differential that actively distributes torque between the rear wheels via two superposition stages, and can send it all to one wheel if necessary.

All we can hope at this juncture is that the Q8 that does eventually make production will at least maintain a modicum of the features seen on this concept vehicle; Audi is notorious for making some pretty drastic changes on the road from concept to production.

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