It’s official: there will be no Audi version of the Volkswagen Up! – but the German luxury brand is looking to expand its SUV range to include a new model, possibly badged Q9.
Car Magazine quotes Audi Chairman of the Board and CEO Rupert Stadler as stating the brand has no need for a car smaller than the A1, putting to bed longstanding rumours of a potential spinoff version of the Volkswagen Up!.
“There is no need for a car [smaller than the A1],” Stadler said. “We are quite happy with A1. It sells 120,000 units, and has a high degree of equipment and accessories, so [profit margins] are quite good.”
At the other end of the scale, the brand is looking to beef up its sales of SUVs – and a new flagship high-riding model to tackle the likes of the Land Rover Range Rover long wheelbase, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and the recently announced BMW X7, not to mention the upcoming production versions of the Lamborghini Urus SUV and Bentley SUV.
“We want to expand the SUV side of the business. By 2020, our Q-models will account for over 45 per cent of sales,” Stadler said. “If we do [an SUV larger than Q7], it will not be because of what our rivals are doing.”
Stadler confirmed that the range-topping SUV model – should it be built – will be offered with a plug-in “e-tron” hybrid drivetrain, which plays a big part in the brand’s plans prior to 2020.
Audi currently offers three SUV models – the Q3, Q5 and Q7 – but there are persistent rumours of Q4, Q6 and Q8 SUVs that would fill the gaps between the practicality-focused models with more stylised coupe-inspired offerings.