Audi Planning New Range of Q Crossover Models
In the fight for the number-one spot among luxury automakers, Audi is betting on its Q line of crossovers. At a financial press conference on March 12, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler explicitly noted that “global demand for SUVs is growing strongly.” He expects that by 2020, every third Audi sold would be an SUV; currently, one in four vehicles falls into that category. Stadler then annouced that the company would “create a broad range of offerings: more sportiness, more variety, more profile,” but consuming less fuel.
While Stadler did not elaborate on the future product at the press conference, he did so in an interview with Automotive News Europe last week. He told the publication that while “our current range is made of very functional SUVs,” Audi would in the future “add a different type of Q model, emotional and very sporty.” He also said that his priority would be a model positioned below the Q3.
Such a model could look like the Crosslane concept that was revealed last September at the Paris auto show. Company sources have told Car and Driver that the Crosslane would not only hint at a future vehicle category, but also—and even more significantly—at a drastically modified design strategy for the brand. Its variation of the single-frame grille, its angularity, and its airy cabin all are indicative of styling elements that will be found on many future Audi vehicles.
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Future additions to Audi’s Q range will definitely include a Q2, positioned below the Q3 and related to the next-generation A1. There will also be a Q4, based on the Q3 with its transversally mounted engine, and a Q6, which is derived from the Q5 and its modular-longitudinal platform. A Q8, based on the next-generation Q7, is possible but its future has yet to be decided. Audi’s even-numbered Q models will feature a sleeker, lower roofline than the odd-numbered Q models they are based on—in accordance with the system established by BMW’s X6, but in curious contradiction to Audi’s own car nomenclature, which sees coupes receive odd-numbered designations such as the A5 and the A7.