The new Audi Q4 is just one of a handful of new Audi SUVs in the pipeline to meet the growing global demand for upmarket SUVs. Audi will also launch three sporty 4x4s in the next five years.The strategy will double the number of dedicated SUVs offered by Audi. In addition to the Q4, today’s Q3, Q5 and Q7 models will be joined by more overtly sporting Q2 and Q6 derivatives by 2016.
“It’s clear that demand for SUVs and crossovers is still in an upswing phase and will remain so for some years to come. We want to make sure we have the coverage to satisfy it,” an Audi insider revealed.
Audi Q2 to take on Mini Countryman
The Q2 is the smallest of Audi’s new SUVs. Conceived around an upcoming four-wheel-drive version of the A1’s platform, it will go head to head with the Mini Countryman, with a base price of around £18,000 in the UK. Engines will draw on those already found in the A1.
Similar in size to the Nissan Juke — a car that Audi designers admit to having in the design studio as a reference point for their new entry-level SUV — the Q2 will slot under the soon-to-be-introduced Q3 and be a sister car to VW’s sub-Tiguan SUV.
The Q2’s key features will be unique body styling and a raised ride height for greater ground clearance and a more commanding seating position.
Audi Q6 to rival BMW X6 in 2016
Crowning Audi’s new line-up of sporty SUVs will be a new Q6 model, first revealed by Autocar in April. The BMW X6 rival had been tipped to be the first of Audi’s new Q-cars to reach showrooms and to be based on today’s Q7, but it now won’t be seen until 2016 at the earliest.
That’s because it will instead be underpinned by an MLB-based platform used by today’s Q5 and set to be picked up by the Q4 and Porsche Cajun. As part of a new engineering programme aimed at lowering the weight of all future Audi models, it will receive a predominantly aluminium body with composite plastic and carbonfibre elements.