Audi's sporty seven-seat MPV is expected to arrive in 2016. The Ford S-Max rival, the existence of which was confirmed to Autocar earlier this month, is currently undergoing development and will be based on the larger version of the Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB architecture.
According to sales and marketing chief Peter Schwarzenbauer, the new car – interpreted here in this exclusive rendering – will be offered with six or seven seats and follow in the mould of the popular S-Max.
Using a longer, wider version of the MQB platform, rather than the A4’s more sophisticated platform, will allow Audi to offer a spacious premium model at a lower price point.
The MQB platform allows both front drive and four-wheel drive. The MPV will also get a range of transverse engines to help maximise interior space. It is likely to measure around 4500mm in length.
Petrol engines are expected to come from Audi’s EA888 range of 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre TFSI engines with 180bhp and 222bhp respectively. Diesels will be from the EA288 family. The 2.0 TDI will be offered with either 141bhp or 175bhp.
The most frugal version is likely to be a hybrid model that mates a 148bhp 1.4 TFSI petrol engine with a 107bhp electric motor and battery pack. Audi could also give the new model, which would be a radical departure for the firm, some performance kudos with a 276bhp 2.0 S variant.
Senior Audi sources have also hinted that the new model could usher in a new strand of badging for Audi that could, in turn, lead to a whole new model line. A new naming process, beginning with the letter ‘V’ (for ‘Vario’), has been mooted.
The first model could be badged either V3 or V4 — V3 due to A3-derived mechanicals or V4 due to size and higher positioning. As Audi has done with its A and Q ranges, V could be used across a whole range of different-sized vehicles based on a similar theme.