Patent

Is Audi Planning A Droptop SUV?

Audi looks to be working on a convertible crossover.

Audi has published patent drawings that indicate it is working on a convertible crossover—or it could be a wagon, but who cares about those these days? The diagrams, unearthed by Audi fan-site Fourtitude, are fairly basic but clearly show the rearmost section of roof and D-pillar would tip back and up to allow a middle section to stow beneath it. This would open the roof for rear passengers but still shelter the cargo area. Meanwhile, it appears the windshield would extend all the way over the front driver and passenger.

Details are, ahem, sketchy at best, though the drawings indicate the possible convertible vehicle would forgo B-pillars (the posts normally supporting the roof between the front and rear doors) and retain C- and D-pillars that would fold and disappear when the roof is stowed. Perhaps such a future vehicle would be perfect for royalty on their way to a wedding or leaders of state who want to bask in the voluntary or forced adulation of their populace. Curiously, Audi actually highlights the cargo capacity of this configuration in its patent application.

“Due to the presence of the side pillars and the rear pillars in the closed state of the roof [up], a motor vehicle is provided which has a far greater transport capacity than known convertible vehicles,” said Audi in the patent description. Perhaps it's trying to solve the problem of taking a group of four and their clubs out for a sunny round of eighteen. With the imminent arrival of the ultra-luxe Q8 coupe SUV, an even more rarified and exclusive Q8 Cabrio is not so far-fetched. We already know a hot SQ8 version is on the way, according to recent spy photos. We hope Audi design boss Mark Lichte can pen a better SUV than these sketches.

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