As if the SUV market isn't already saturated enough.
The SUV market is showing no signs of slowing down, so it comes as no surprise that Audi is planning to expand its SUV line-up with the introduction of two new Q models in the next couple of years. While we knew more Q models were in the pipeline, this is the first time Audi has outlined production plans. “We will integrate two completely new Q-models into the existing production network and will thus increase our competitiveness in an extremely important segment,” said Audi’s Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl.
First up is the Q8 which has finally been confirmed after years of rumors, a premium SUV with coupe styling that “combines great spaciousness with emotive design” and offers “the latest technologies in assistance and infotainment systems.” Judging from recent spy shots, it will be around the same size as the current Q7 if a little lower, and, if the Q8 Sport Concept shown at Geneva is anything to go by, will signal the start of a bold and belated new design language for Audi. Rumor has it the top trim Q8 will set you back around $100,000 to compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLE, Range Rover Sport and Bentley Bentayga in the high-end SUV market.
Production for the Audi Q8 will begin next year at the manufacturer’s Bratislava factory where the Q7 is also built and a performance SQ8 model will follow at some stage. While the Q8 covers the luxury SUV segment, Audi is also targeting the compact utility vehicle market with the Q4, which will enter production in 2019 at Gyor in Hungary. Audi describes the baby Q4 as “very sporty” and position it between the Q3 and Q5, if you couldn’t already work that out. It’s expected to take its design cues from the sporty Audi TT Offroad Concept and will most likely utilize the Q3’s 2.0-liter turbo four engine which produces 200 hp and 207 lb-ft of torque.