As many as seven new Audi SUV variants are coming this year.
During Audi’s 130th Annual General Meeting this week, the German automaker not only outlined plans for a new range-topping version of the A8 sedan to rival the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class but also confirmed we can also expect to see an Audi SUV onslaught this year. Audi says it "will present seven completely new SUV variants without predecessors in 2019,” but it’s important to note that none of them will be all-new models, but variants of existing models.
Audi confirmed that two of these planned SUVs will be "particularly sporty versions” of the Q8 flagship SUV, so it’s probably safe to assume the automaker is referring to the hot SQ8 and the hardcore RS Q8. The SQ8 is expected to pack a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 mated to a hybrid drivetrain to produce a combined 470 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque, and there may also be a diesel version with a 4.0-liter tri-turbo V8.
The RS Q8, on the other hand, could get the Cayenne Turbo’s 4.0-liter V8 that produces 542 hp and 568 lb-ft or possibly the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid’s powertrain that combines a twin-turbo V8 with an electric motor to produce 680 hp and 626 lb-ft. Fingers crossed it gets the latter.
Audi also confirmed the Q3 Sportback and the production version of the electric e-tron Sportback will debut this year, but didn’t reveal the remaining three models. However, thanks to a leaked product road map shown during the Q3’s reveal in Spain earlier this year, we have a good idea of what to expect. According to photos taken from the presentation, an RS Q3 will arrive later this year. Unlike its predecessor, it won’t be forbidden fruit in the US. But before the RS Q3, we can also surely expect the hot SQ3 to arrive.
Audi’s seventh SUV variant launching this year remains a mystery, but one possibility could be an RS version of the Q7. The regular Q7 is getting a mid-cycle refresh this year, so there’s a chance that a hardcore RS model could arrive after the SQ7. Alternatively, we could also see the long-rumored RS Q5 debut.