A new Audi Q8 will be launched to challenge the Range Rover Sport, Audi's research and development boss, Wolfgang Dürheimer, has confirmed to Autocar.

The car will get a coupé-style roofline and be marketed as the high-riding version of the A8.

It is expected to be based on an extended version of the Volkswagen Group's MLB platform, which will be used for the next-gen Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg.

The MLB platform will also be used in the mooted Bentley and Lamborghini SUVs.

"We can go bigger than we have with the Q7, and we can all see that this sector is growing," said Dürheimer.

"Audi has the biggest SUV in the group, and I don't see any reason to change that."