Audi will be adding three more SUVs to its portfolio, effectively doubling its current SUV lineup by 2016. Joining the odd-numbered Q3, Q5 and Q7 will be the sportier even-numbered Q2, Q4 and Q6. The new models are part of Audi’s strategy to meet the growing global demand for up-market SUVs.
“It’s clear that demand for SUVs and crossovers is still in an upswing phase and will remain so for some years to come. We want to make sure we have the coverage to satisfy it,” an Audi insider revealed to Autocar.
The new Q2 SUV will be the new baby in Audi’s SUV family. It will be based on an upcoming four-wheel drive version of the A1’s platform, which it will share with a Volkswagen cousin. The pair will fill the slot below the Q3/Volkswagen Tiguan and be about the size of the Nissan Juke – which “Audi designers admit to having in the design studio as a reference point,” according to Autocar. Although Audi is referencing the Juke design-wise the Q2 is set to compete head-on with the Mini Countryman. Expect engines to mirror those in the A1.
Built to rival Range Rover’s Evoque, the middle-of-the-pack Q4 will share platforms and most of its dimensions with the Q5. The one exception will be its roofline, which will be chopped just over two inches. Styling will be similar to the A5 Sportback, with more rake to its windshield than the Q5, shallower greenhouse and an angled liftback-style rear hatch. Fender flares reminiscent of 1980s rally Quattros are also a possibility. The interior will be similar to the Q5 but the middle seat on the second row is intended for limited use.
Expect engines for the U.S. market to include versions of the turbocharged 2.0 liter I-4 and the 270 hp naturally aspirated 3.2-liter gas V6. Other engine choices may include Audi’s 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 170 hp and 210 hp or a 240 hp 3.0-liter V6 diesel. An S-model for the North American market may feature Audi’s 328 hp supercharged 3.0-liter V6 gas-powered engine.
The top of Audi’s sporty SUV heap will be the Q6 which is set to rival BMW’s X6. Originally believed to be based on today’s Q7 it will utilize the MLB (‘modularen langsbau’ or modular longitudinal architecture) -based platform used by today’s Q5 and upcoming Q4 and Porsche Cajun. In an effort to reduce weight in all future Audis the big SUV’s body will be constructed mostly of aluminum and some composite plastic and carbon fiber.
Is six SUVs too many for Audi? Other manufacturers currently have several SUVs and crossovers: Ford has five (six if you count the Expedition EL separate from the Expedition) SUVs not including Lincoln versions (three); Toyota has seven not including Lexus (three) and Chevrolet has four not including GMC (four SUVs), Buick (one SUV) and Cadillac (two SUVs).How many SUVs are too many for one nameplate especially in today’s world of fluctuating fuel prices.
Thanks to: Motor Trend