Audi is looking to dramatically expand its SUV line-up, and a large new luxury model above the Audi Q7 could crown the range. It is likely to be badged Q8 and sources suggest that it would combine a Range Rover Sport-style sporting look with a very luxurious interior, on par with the company's A8 limo.

"SUVs are our biggest priority," Audi technical chief Wolfgang Durheimer told Autocar at the Shanghai motor show. "And an SUV bigger than the Q7 is one we could do. It would fit in our offerings. Bentley has shown what can be done with a car of this size.

"I pushed for the Bentley SUV and I'm pushing for Audi to make something in this segment also. I could see Bentley and Audi both making SUVs, and Lamborghini also; in my job [Lamborghini is under the control of the Audi brand] I'm trying to encourage the Lamborghini SUV project to progress."

Durheimer said internal competition was encouraged and VW, and the models wouldn't overlap. "There is no limit at VW on market access or price strategy as long as you have a business case," he said.

An Audi Q2 compact SUV was also described by Durheimer as a "top priority". The only limits to Audi's future model expansion would be "R&D budgets and engineering man power", said Durheimer.