The BMW X6 has always been referred to in automotive circles as the answer to the question that nobody asked, but according to reports out of Germany, Audi may be working on its own answer to that question.

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Dubbed the Audi Q6, the vehicle would slot in between the smaller Q5 soft-roader and the full-size Q7 SUV, and would compete directly with BMW’s so-called ‘Sports Activity Coupe’.

Audi Chairman Rupert Stadler told German reporters at the Geneva Motor Show that a BMW X6 competitor was in the minds of Audi’s research and development and product planning people.

“We can imagine a model between the Q5 and the Q7,” Mr Stadler said, as reported by Autoweek. “A coupe-like, four-wheel-driven model.”

It is understood Audi dealers in North America and China have been pushing for a slanted-roof SUV vehicle to compete with the X6, which enjoyed rapid growth in 2010.

Global sales of the X6 last year were reportedly double the Bavarian brand’s original predictions for 2010.

Rumours suggest the Q6 would share the same short wheelbase ‘Colorado’ architecture as the second-generation Volkswagen Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne. The Audi Q7 uses a longer wheelbase version of the platform.

Drivetrains in a Q6 production model would be shared with similar sized vehicles in the Audi range, with a hybrid considered a strong chance by the time it would roll off the line.