Audi A4 SuperAvant on way

4 Apr, 2012 11:00am Michael Taylor

Seven-seat Audi A4 ‘SuperAvant’ is on the drawing board, and our exclusive images show how it could look

It seems record-breaking sales aren’t enough for Audi: the upmarket brand is on the hunt for yet another niche. Sources say Audi is closely investigating a more practical A4-based MPV crossover – and our exclusive pictures give the best idea yet of how it could look.

Dubbed ‘SuperAvant’, after Audi’s well known estate range, it will offer more interior space than the current A4 Avant while avoiding the handling and fuel efficiency compromises of a Q5-sized SUV.

It’ll also occupy a new class in the market, above premium mini-MPVs like the Mercedes B-Class. The SuperAvant will offer more space and versatility for a starting price of around £30,000.

Marking the car out is a raised roof that allows more headroom without ruining the looks. Inside, it’s set to be extremely flexible, with a wide variety of seating options similar to the Vauxhall Zafira or the Ford Grand C-MAX. For example, the middle bench could feature a central seat that folds away, allowing the outer seats to slide back and create a luxurious space for two.

There would also be a pair of fold-out seats in the third row, making the SuperAvant a genuine seven-seater.

The car will be powered by a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, including some hybrids. Audi’s hope is that the SuperAvant will be the first of a family of similar cars that could stretch up to the A6 and down to the A3.

However, some problems lie ahead for the new model. Internal backers of the MPV plan are rumoured to be having a tough time convincing Audi’s board that such a car could maintain the brand’s upmarket image. Sources report that the problems largely stem from Audi’s Roadjet concept car that was seen at the 2006 Detroit Motor Show. It offered the same practical benefits that the SuperAvant proposes.

“The trouble with the Roadjet concept was nobody understood it,” explained a source. “Instead we decided the A5 Sportback was better for the brand.”

Other plans on the drawing board include a stretched A4 Avant with a longer wheelbase to give buyers more space in a familiar estate-car package. While the A4 SuperAvant’s advocates are fighting their corner, another Audi crossover is definitely getting the green light: the Q6. This sporty SUV rival to the BMW X6 is already said to have the backing of Audi chairman Rupert Stadler and engineering boss Michael Dick.

“The next Q7 [due in 2014] is very important, and a sexy version of the standard model is definitely planned,” our source told us. “If we do it, it will use the MLB platform, which will also underpin the next Porsche Cayenne and forthcoming SUVs from Lamborghini and Bentley.”

Update: This article was updated with the full story on 10 April 2012.

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Or in other words, its a Sharan/Alambra with Audi badges, and will look nothing like the pictures.

Another "Uneconomical Audi" which as Shuan34 says, "will look NOTHING like that".

one technicality the "designer" seems to over looked whilst moving the cab forwards, is that the A4 has a longitudinal engine and gear box mounted relatively far back which is now in the cabin?

Great, not only do we have similar cars, now we are going to have expensive similar MPVs??? What does "slightly higher than the B-class" mean?? Where does it exactly fit, or is Audi going to make a "niche" market, just like the dreadful X1!! - pointless.

That looks bloody awful. It doesn't even look like an MPV. How are there 7 seats in there? It looks like a 5 door A3. And look at the crooked shadow underneath. Just another shoddy Autoexpress photoshop.

Another overly huge Audi to clog up the streets.

Enough room for seven dwarfs

interesting front image! Autoexpress wants it to looks farely similiar to the DS5 around the split A pillar minus the Chrome!

will someone in Audi that has a tiny morsel of common sense & respect left, please call a halt to this utter nonsense? its totally gotten out of control, how many differant vehicles do Audi currently list? does anyone really know? versions, versions of versions, niche versions, niche cars, niche versions of niche cars, facelift after stupid facelift, sometimes only after a few months.

No need for this. They are diluting the brand something chronic, leave it alone Audi, you make enough and sodding brand enough.

THATS ENOUGH.

Should be called the "SuperDerriere" rather than the "SuperAvant". One wonders whether any Audis should be called the super anything except for the ultra, ultra expensive ones.

AEX 1330
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