Does the world need another fat-bottomed, fuel-guzzling, highly-impractical SUV?

Whether it does or not, Audi’s Q8 is on the way, ready to lock horns with its Bavarian counterparts — the BMW X6 and Benz GLE Coupe.

Priced from $128,900, the big, sloped-back, five-seater will sit at the top of the Audi SUV range, powered by a twin scroll, turbocharged V6 with 250kW and 500Nm of torque, 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds and claimed fuel consumption of 9.2L/100km.

Power is transmitted to all four wheels via an 8-speed tiptronic auto and Audi’s trademark quattro drivetrain.

Performance is described rather strangely as “spontaneous responsiveness”.

Q8 is wider, shorter and lower than the Q7 on which it is based and features mild-hybrid technology, that allows the wagon — sorry, make that SUV coupe — to coast with the engine turned off at speeds between 55 and 160km/h.

Due to arrive in January the V6 will be joined by a 3.0-litre diesel later in the year.

It’s another of those rather odd concoctions that answers a question nobody asked, no one apart from the boffins waiting to see how the competition made out?

Will it sell? Well, they’ll probably move more of these than the A8, given the market’s seemingly insatiable appetite for SUVs.

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Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.