AUDI has confirmed it will plug another niche in its expanding model portfolio by launching a new Q4 compact SUV in 2019.
Speaking at the annual release of the company’s financial results, Audi board chairman Rupert Stadler (pictured, below) gave a broad outline of plans to offer a range of electric vehicles, as well as two new SUVs starting with the large, style-driven Q8 in 2018.
“In 2019 we will then launch the Q4, entering the segment of compact utility vehicles, or CUVs,” he said.
“We offered a preview of this type of vehicle with the Audi TT off-road concept study three years ago. The very sporty Audi Q4 with a typical coupe silhouette will be positioned between the Q3 and Q5.”
Audi’s move towards producing coupe-like SUVs is a step towards countering the success of BMW’s X6 and X4, as well as the more recent GLE and GLC Coupes from Mercedes-Benz.
It is believed Audi received permission from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to use the Q4 name, which the American-Italian conglomerate has trademarked for one of its all-wheel-drive systems.
Stadler also said a new A8 large sedan would have its premiere in July, followed by a replacement for the A7 at the end of 2017. It will be followed by a replacement for the Q3 SUV in 2018, which will be followed in turn by the Q4 that uses the same MBA platform.
Audi may seem close to filling its Q-series dance card (although a Q1 and Q6 are obvious omissions) but it is also gearing up for a completely separate range of electric-powered SUVs.
Stadler confirmed Audi’s first all-electric vehicle, as previewed by 2015’s e-Tron Quattro concept shown at Frankfurt will simply be called e-Tron (and yes, the lower-case “e” is deliberate).
“You heard me correctly: it’s called quite simply e-Tron,” he said, likening the new name to the company’s use of “quattro” and reiterating the vehicle will have an SUV body and a 500km range.
If you thought Audi’s niche-filling plans had reached saturation point, you ain’t heard nothing yet.
“The Audi e-Tron Sportback will follow in 2019,” Stadler said.
“We have designed it as a fastback model with an elevated sitting position. Not an SUV, but higher than a standard sedan.
“And in the following year, 2020, we will offer a premium electric car also in the compact segment. This will be based on the VW Group’s modular electrification platform MEB.”
Audi also plans to offer an electric version of every vehicle from its core model lines starting in 2021.
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