Audi plans SUV explosion

Audi Crosslane Coupe
23 Nov, 2012 11:53am Jack Rix

Audi is working on a raft of sleek new Q-models to capitalise on booming SUV sales

Audi is planning to exploit the lucrative SUV segment with a raft of new models that slot neatly around the existing line-up.

“I think there is still some room in the SUV segment, it’s still growing on a worldwide basis,” Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi’s new head of technical development told us. “So maybe there is room below the Q3 – there is also room between the other Q models for more derivatives of our bigger SUVs.”

With the Crosslane Coupe Concept at the Paris Motor Show in September, Audi showed us how a sub-Q3 model, likely to be called Q2, could look.

Featuring a striking new three-dimensional grille, three-door layout and a removable roof panel, it demonstrated Audi’s new styling direction under new design boss Wolfgang Eggar, but also how the sporty Range Rover Evoque rival could look.

Moving upwards in the range, a Q4, Q6 and Q8 are already under development. The Q4 will be a sportier, possibly three-door version of the Q3, while the Q6 will offer a more dynamic take on the Q5’s conservative styling. At the top of the range the Q8 will be a lower and sportier version of the new Q7, designed to steal sales from the new Range Rover Sport.

All will be based on versions of Audi’s new MLB platform, which will be constructed from lightweight materials to dramatically improve handling and fuel consumption. The next-generation Q7, due in 2014, will shed around 350kg.