Audi Executives Confirm Q1 and Q8 Crossovers
More Diesel, Hybrid, and Electric Models on the Way
The leader of this alt-fuel charge is the Audi Q7 e-tron, which the company says is the world’s first plug-in diesel-electric hybrid with Quattro all-wheel drive. Unfortunately, the Q7 e-tron will be powered by a gas engine in the United States, a 2.0L turbocharged I-4. Audi is predictably hedging its bets in our diesel-averse market, although many of the company’s customers have been early adopters of clean diesel, and company reps say the TDI e-tron is still a possibility for the U.S. at a later date.
Speaking at the company’s annual press conference yesterday, Audi executives officially confirmed what many already suspected: The Four Rings will build an ultra-compact Q1 crossover and a range-topping Q8 SUV. Additionally, representatives from the company said to expect a greater proliferation of diesel, hybrid, and full-electric models throughout the model range.
Following in the footsteps of the economical, ecological Q7 is an as-yet-unnamed all-electric e-tron crossover, featuring a new design language developed specifically for Audi’s electric and hybrid vehicles. It’s not clear if this crossover will be the Audi Q8 e-tron we’ve predicted (which would make a fitting rival for the Tesla Model X). Auto Express says the electric will be called Q6, leaving the Q8 name open for an ultra-luxurious Range Rover rival. We’re not sure about that, but again, there’s no official confirmation one way or another.
The only words Audi gave about its confirmed new crossovers were that the compact Q1 would feature “emotive, precise design,” according to Board Member Ulrich Hackenberg. Hackenberg said the Q1 would join the A4 sedan as the first Audi vehicles to take cues from the Audi Prologue and Prologue Avant show cars. Additionally, Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board, said the Audi Q8 would be a “sporty” play on the large luxury crossover theme. That phrasing seems to confirm rumors that the Q8 would take the form of a fastback crossover, à la BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe.
Whether the Q8 becomes an all-electric “coupe,” a luxurious diesel-powered crossover, or something in between, we don’t know. Nevertheless, the company promises at least eight additional model lines within five years, so it’s safe to say there will be an Audi competing in almost every premium market segment soon.
Sources: Audi, Auto Express