Last January 2015, Audi was apparently developing an all-new SUV that will have a sleeker profile than the Q7. Come 2017, we will see what the new SUV will eventually look like with the upcoming Q8 e-tron. Set to make its world debut at next year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the Q8 e-tron concept could debut with an electric powertrain

Based on the images, the Q8 e-tron concept still features Audi's familiar design cues but gets several unique revisions. For starters, the Singleframe grill looks wider and gets vertical fins. The front bumper looks very aggressive with the wide dual air intakes and chin-like spoiler.

Audi Q8 e-tron concept to make global debut in Detroit

Along the side, the Q8 e-tron gets a more couple-like profile compared to the current Q7. It gets large alloy wheels, sleek character lines on the front fenders, doors and rear quarter panels and what appears to be a roof-mounted spoiler.

Also peculiar on the Q8 e-tron render is that it lacks a third-row window. This could just be a design oversight as our spies photographed a purported prototype Q8 being tested on public roads last July. Even though the SUV is still in its prototype stages, the Q8 as seen by our spies gets a longer wheelbase, flared wheel arches, slightly lower ride height and a revised front end. But then again, the prototype could have gone extensive changes yet again before Audi came up with the e-tron concept.

The Audi Q8 prototype seen testing on public roads

Powertrain details were not revealed but since it's an e-tron, the concept could be an all-electric vehicle. It is also unclear whether the production Q8 will have an electric powertrain, or will it only be available with a gasoline- or diesel-powered engines.

When launched, the Audi Q8 will be the fifth SUV from the Ingolstadt-based automaker after the Q2.