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Audi is continuing to dump money into the development of its next generation crossovers, with the brand selling 155,000 Q5s globally last year along with 47,700 Q7s. ”There is no doubt…that crossovers are still selling like hotcakes even though the trend seems to be shifting toward more compact models,” says Audi chairman Rupert Stadler. The high-riding Q5 and Q7 will go on a serious diet for their next-generation.
The redesigned Q5 will drop 220 pounds from its curb weight and the Q7 will lose 650 pounds thanks to a new aluminium body. The Q5 will share the same platform as the all-new Porsche Cajun, set to arrive in 2016, with two new models including the Q4 and Q6. The Q6 will feature a steeply raked windshield and low-slung hatch that will take on the BMW X6. Design ideas for the Q4 are still up in the air regarding the shape of the SUV.
The three main ideas suggested include a hardened off-roader, a more luxurious Acura ZDX competitor or a high performance crossover. Power for both models will come from a new turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, with improved efficiency over the current supercharged motor by up to 20 percent. A plug-in hybrid may also be a possibility utilizing a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a 100-hp electric motor.
Audi is planning on launching the Q2 and Q6 sport oriented SUVs by 2016. Along with the Q2 and Q6 will be the new Q4 and today’s Q3, Q5 and Q7 to complete Audi’s lineup.
“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.
The Q2 will be the smallest of the Audi SUV range, will sport a new four-wheel drive system and will compete with the Mini Countryman. The Q2 will start at £18,000 in the UK and will likely be powered by the engine found in the A1. The Q2 will be similar in size to the Nissan Juke which Audi has admitted is parked in the design studio as a reference. The Audi will also have unique body styling and a raised ride height for better ground clearance.
The all-new Q6 first revealed in April will be a direct competitor to the BMW X6 and will likely be launched in 2016 at the earliest. The Q6 will use the same platform as the Q5 and is part of a new engineering program aimed at lowering the weight of all future Audi models. The Q6 will receive an aluminum body coupled with composite plastic and carbonfibre elements.
Audi also expects fierce competition from the BMW X4 by the end of 2014 with the growing demand for upmarket SUVs. Audi also plans to launch a handful of new SUVs, with three sporty 4x4s in the next five years. The Q4 will be aimed at Chinese, Russian and North American markets. Accompanying the Q4 will be the Q3, Q5, Q7 and the upcoming Q2 and Q6 prepped to launch in 2016.
The Q4 will share design elements from the A5 sportback including a five-door body style and have flared wheel arches like the old RS6, according to Autocar. The interior will share many of the same design elements as the Q5 with a five-seat arrangment, with the central rear seat indended for occasional use.
Both diesel and gas engines will likely be available with the Q4 including a 2.0-liter turbodiesel (170-hp and 210-hp), as well as a 3.0-liter V6 diesel (240-hp). There will likely be a gasoline powered 3.2-liter V6 (270-hp) as well as high-performance S model variants.