The Audi Allroad concept, unveiled at this year’s Detroit Motor Show, has been confirmed for production, with UK sales starting in mid-2006. It had been suggested that the Allroad’s role would be fulfiled by the new Q7 4x4, but Audi is confident that there’s room for both in its range. Over 100,000 Allroads have been sold worldwide since its 2000 introduction, a quarter of which were shipped to the US.
‘We know from our research that there is a large group of wealthy American buyers who don’t want and won’t buy a full-size 4x4,’ said an Audi spokesman. ‘It would be madness for us to throw away 25,000 loyal customers.’
The new model will also be much easier and therefore cheaper to build than the old car. Air suspension and a low-ratio gearbox had to be developed specifically for the original Allroad, but this won’t be necessary as the new A6 Avant is already available with air suspension and Audi won’t be offering a low-ratio ’box on the newcomer. ‘If people are serious about their off-roading, they will choose the Q7,’ said the spokesman.
Show-car styling, such as the aluminium roof rails and chunky wheelarches will make production, but the dramatic aluminium mesh grille will be dropped.
The car will be launched with a choice of two petrol engines – a 3.2 FS and a 4.2 V8 – and a 3.0 TDi, all of which are shared with the A6. Audi has not ruled out fitting the show car’s 4.0 TDi at a later date. The new model will be priced from around £35,500.