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The Audi Q5 and Q7 are similar vehicles, and thanks to customer demand in both the U.S. and China, Audi is working on a Q6, which will slot in between the two luxury SUVs, offering sportier styling to Audi customer wanting something different from the company’s SUV lineup.
The new Q6 will take on BMW’s X6, so we can expect some type of sleek style and coupe-like appearance when we finally see the finished product.
The vehicle in our spy photos is based on an Audi Q5 body, but is a little longer and wider than the production model. This is intended to give the Q6 more presence than the Q5, though Audi should be careful to not take anything away from the Q7′s large stance. This Q6 mule appears to sit a little lower than the Q5 as well, hinting at the sporty identity the Q6 will take to compete with the BMW X6. The new Q6 is also a likely candidate for RS treatment and may make use of Audi’s 4.0-liter turbocharged V8.
This vehicle is probably still a few years away, with some sources speculating a 2014 release and others 2016.
GALLERY: Audi Q6 Mule
BMW’s decision to build the X6 coupe-styled SUV may have seemed absurd at first, but demand for the unique and sporty AWD machine has far exceeded expectations, giving rise to rumors of competitors from the automaker’s main rivals.
The latest comes from Audi, and it’s more than just a rumor with Audi boss Rupert Stadler recently commenting that, ““We can imagine a model between the Q5 and the Q7… a coupe like, four-wheel driven model.”
Based on the same chassis as the Q7 SUV, the vehicle (likely to wear the ‘Q6′ badge). is reportedly already under development.
The push for the vehicle comes from Audi dealers in the U.S. and China, where customers are eager for a model between the Q5 and Q7.
And with a Q6 model breaking new ground for Audi, look for the automaker to follow a path similar to BMW, with a high-performance offering as well. The team at AutoCar suggests a Q6 RS model could even make use of the company’s upcoming turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 engine.