Audi is out testing prototypes for an updated version of its Q8 mid-size SUV and the latest tester to be spotted is for the sporty SQ8 variant. The Q8 also comes in high-performance RS Q8 guise and an updated version of it should also be in the works.
The latest prototype sports a revised grille up front and new internals for the headlights. The front fascia also has a new design, featuring a more triangular shape for the side intakes compared to the current model. It isn't clear what changes are present at the rear, but a revised design for the taillights is likely.
We know this prototype is for the SQ8 due to its S-badged brake calipers, large wheel and tire combination, and unique mesh pattern with large holes in the grille and side intakes.
The design changes Audi is making to the Q8 range are expected to better reflect elements found on the E-Tron electric SUV, which was updated last year and rebranded the Q8 E-Tron in the process. The Q8 E-Tron is available for the 2023 model year. The updated Q8 is expected to be available for the 2024 model year, though there are rumors Audi may drop the gas-powered Q8s in the U.S. to focus on the Q8 E-Tron electric variant.
2024 Audi Q8 facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf
It isn't clear what updates, if any, are planned for the powertrains, either. The current Q8, which arrived as a 2019 model, is offered in the U.S. with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 in regular guise and a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 in the SQ8 and RS Q8. The SQ8 delivers 500 hp, while the RS Q8 ups things to 591 hp.
The Q8 also comes with diesel and plug-in hybrid options in some markets.
Note, with Audi planning to launch its last gas-powered vehicle in 2026, this will likely be the final version of the Q8 still with gas engines. A redesigned Q8 likely offered only in Q8 E-Tron guise is due around 2026.