With Mercedes-Benz known to be working on a Navara-based ute, Audi Australia has pitched in saying that a four-ringed ute could be an interesting addition to its Australian fleet.
Speaking at the launch of the new Audi A4 Allroad, Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle told CarAdvice that while a product hasn't been confirmed - or even discussed to a large degree - he thinks that the market would ultimately lead the brand into a decision.
"Well... I don't know actually [he joked when asked whether the brand could or would sell a ute locally]. I don't believe so, but there's been a lot of rumours and discussions about that from the press in the past," he said.
Pictured above: Audi Prologue concept-based ute, rendered by Theophilus Chin
"It depends if there is really a market there for a premium utility model like that. What I can say is that the brand has proven that as much as we stretch into different areas and different segments, we can have success."
It seems like a logical decision for the brand, given that Volkswagen already has a class-leading ute on offer with the Amarok - and it has enough premium cachet to be moulded into a utility with Audi branding.
One-in-six vehicles sold in Australia is a ute, and with its key competitor working on a Navara-based ute, now would be the time to pitch a business case. Doyle is convinced that if the market demanded such a thing, the brand would act.
"If the formula is there to ensure its premium quality and premium performance, we'd have to do a global case study to see if that would be the case. It certainly would be an interesting addition to the Australian fleet," he said.
It would certainly give the brand an upper hand locally, with BMW lacking a ute within its stable and Mercedes-Benz working on a base that has proven to lack some of the commercial trademarks for such a vehicle, sitting in the middle of the pack during our recent dual-cab ute comparison.
Would you like to see an Audi branded dual-cab ute? Is there a market beyond a premium Mercedes-Benz branded ute?