The German manufacturer is plotting a rival to Ford's S-Max, plus an Audi-badged scooter that could be produced using Ducati expertise

Audi is seriously considering building a ‘premium’ people carrier according to sales and marketing chief Peter Schwarzenbauer.

Speaking at the opening of Audi’s new digital showroom in London, Schwarzenbauer said that the traditional MPV ‘was a boring concept’ but that something ‘designed as an Audi’ with six or seven seats was a strong possibility.

He admitted that Ford’s S-Max was the kind of sporting interpretation of the people carrier that was under consideration by the company. Ford has claimed that the S-Max has attracted many buyers who had previously been driving premium-brand cars.

Schwarzenbauer also admitted that a two-wheel Audi was on the horizon. Although there would never be a ‘Ducati wearing an Audi badge’, he said that the Ducati brand could play an important role in ‘future mobility solutions’ for urban travellers, hinting that the brand’s two-wheel know-how would be used in the development of a future Audi scooter or motorcycle.

The attention of premium-brand car makers have been attracted by the huge level of two-wheeler sales in Asia, which are driven both by limited budgets and by the effectiveness of two-wheelers in dense city traffic.

Both Mini and Smart have shown concept scooters and BMW is about to launch its own battery-powered city scooter.

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Comments
8

16 July 2012

I'm surprised it has taken this long, but maybe the R-Class has put them off. It will be disappointing if they just make a Sharan based car with no real effort.

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10 years of Smart ownership over, sensible car mode activated

16 July 2012

I'd agree with superstevie - the R Class was a failure, and people carriers are the exact opposite to "premium" - they are purely about practicality and have the least sex appeal of any car, hence anyone with a bit of cash wanting to carry lots of kids round but be seen doing so buys a 4x4.

Mercedes tried to remarket the R-Class as executive transport, ie a car for companies wanting to chauffeur clients about, but that's what an S Class LWB is for and looks far classier doing it.

Still, Audi could do it cheaply on the Sharan platform so it won't cost them too much if/when it fails.

As for Ducati, Audi will be putting a lot of pressure on the MotoGP team to get results and also retain Rossi.

 

TS7

16 July 2012

Only a few months ago, this was a quote on another CAR website concerning the A4 Superavant, due in 2014:

Quote:

'The last thing we want to create is a minivan,' explains a project engineer. 'Why? Because a minivan is incompatible with the Audi brand image. A minivan triggers all the wrong associations - like soccer mum, kiddy seats, weekend groceries. In an ideal world, the Superavant addresses primarily lifestyle-related packaging issues. That´s why two rows of seats are plenty. Those who need to carry more than five adults should consider a Sharan or a T5.'

Anyhoo, no doubt soccermoms will be unspeakably excited, and I fully expect the roads around my schools to further resemble an Ingolstadt car park.

16 July 2012

The excitement of another Audi clone is too much for me!! Sad

 

16 July 2012

It makes sense for Audi to enter the Premium MPV sector - provided it is correctly executed. With VW's new modular component system it should be less difficult to create something a little different to mainstream MPV's.

On the topic of scooters, why not acquire Piaggio (adding Piaggio, Gilera, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, and most importantly, that iconic brand, Vespa). Volkswagen AG certainly have the resources but I'm sure the great Mr Piech would have the ultimate say...

William Hassett

 

16 July 2012

its another thing buying a small independent company from an investment group and a totally different one buying europe's biggest motorcycle producer (especially when they are in no need of cash), VAG doesnt do this.

 

they came, they saw, they lolled

TS7

16 July 2012

Rather than Sharan I could see it being based on a stretched Touran, with a little more legroom, compared to the 'tall Golf', for rows 2 & 3, and a little more useable luggage space '7-up'.

Extra length could also allow for a more sloping roofline at the rear.

TS7

1 August 2012

Looks like it will be a more 'bespoke' chassis, if one can use that word with any of VAG's products these days.

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