Is this a crossover too far? Rumours have surfaced that Audi is considering a production version of its Cross Cabriolet Concept – a striking drop-top prototype that featured at the 2007 Los Angeles Motor Show, and previewed the Q5 SUV.
Nissan has already broken the mould with the Murano CrossCabriolet, which went on sale earlier this year in North America. And Audi could follow suit with its wackiest car yet.
A production model would feature the same two-door layout as the concept, with space for four people inside and a fabric roof that folds electrically. Additional bracing would be required to stiffen the chassis, meaning an increase over the fixed-roof Q5’s kerbweight of 1,720kg – and this would have knock-on effects on the car’s handling and fuel efficiency.
However, the soft-top will be aimed at style seekers more than driving enthusiasts, and is expected to be produced in limited numbers. Our sources suggest a total of only 5,000 will be made.
Rather than assembling it on the same production line as the Q5, Audi would outsource the car to an independent coachbuilder, such as Magna Steyr in Austria. And as well as offering top-down style, the cabriolet is predicted to feature an even more luxurious interior, with extravagant leather and suede upholstery in a variety of colour combinations. The roof will probably be available in a wide range of shades, too.
Mechanically, it’s tipped to stick closely to the Q5’s formula, with quattro all-wheel drive and a choice between four and six-cylinder TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines. It will carry a premium price, too, with the range starting from around £40,000 when it arrives in the next 18 months.