This year’s Shanghai Auto Show comes with great news, and not only for the Chinese market. In an interview with AutoCar, Audi technical chief, Wolfgang Durheimer, said that he is pushing to expand Audi’s SUV lineup with a new model placed above the current Q7 and a Q2.
The SUV placed above the current Q7 would likely be named Q8 and will "combine a Range Rover Sport-style sporting look with a very luxurious interior." Durheimer said that Audi has been inspired by Bentley ’s decision to offer a SUV and he is also "encouraging" Lamborghini to progress with its SUV – remember, Lambo is under Audi’s control.
If built, the three SUVs - Audi, Bentley and Lamborghini - will most likely be developed in the same time, because, according to Durheimer VW encourages internal competition, as long as the models don’t overlap one another.
Until we will see the Q8 on the market, another SUV has priority: the Q2. It was previewed by the Crosslane Coupe Concept and Durheimer calls is a “top priority” within Audi. Rumor has it that the Q2 could arrive sometime in 2014.
Click past the jump to read about the Crosslane Coupe Concept
From the looks of things, Audi’s lineup is set to grow exponentially in the near future. Earlier today we reported about a possible R10 diesel supercar and the possible TT GT3, and now we have news coming from the company’s SUV lineup. Audi’s current lineup includes the Q3 , Q5 and Q7 , so it doesn’t take a genius to piece together that the future could also bring a Q2, Q4, Q6 and Q8.
We already knew all about the Q6 , but the Q2 , Q4 and Q8 we knew very little about, until today. According to reports, the Q2 will be a three-door model sitting below the Q3, and will feature a striking new three-dimensional grille and a removable roof panel. It may have been previewed by the Crosslane Coupe Concept that we saw in Paris, but there is no confirmation of that.
All of the upcoming models above the Q3 are already confirmed as “under development.” This will start with the Q4 — a three-door model with a sportier appearance than the Q3. Above the upcoming Q6 and the existing Q7, Audi will add a Q8, which will take its styling cues from the Q7, but add a little more sportiness to it.
All four new models will be built on the company’s new MLB platform that will feature lightweight materials, which will help improve handling and reduce fuel consumption.
Audi has unveiled the new Crosslane Coupe Concept at the start of the 2012 Paris Auto Show. This concept offers a glimpse into the design language that will be found in the Q2 and all future Q models. It was built on a new Multimaterial Space Frame and features one of the most innovative and efficient plug-in hybrid drive systems. It also comes with a removable roof, but we highly doubt this feature will make it to production.
The new Crosslane Coupe Concept features some of the design elements already seen in the e-tron concepts , but with a more aggressive interpretation to make them suitable for a crossover model. These elements include a single-frame grille and trapezoidal headlights using Audi Matrix LED headlight technology, as well as large air intakes that ensure the best cooling for the hybrid system.
The concept is powered by a 1.5-liter three-cylinder TFSI combined with two electric motors for a total output of 177 HP. This power is enough to sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 8.6 seconds and up to a top speed of 113 mph. These are not the best performance numbers out there, but the best part about the setup is that it delivers a money-saving fuel economy of 213.81 US mpg.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2012 Audi Crosslane Coupe Concept.
Audi currently offers a Q3 , a Q5 , and a Q7 SUV in their line-up, with a Q6 in the pipeline to serve as a competitor for the BMW X6 . Now new rumors suggest that the company is already working on a new baby SUV that will be sportier than the five-door Q3.
The future Audi Q2 will be built on the MQB Group architecture and will be closer in design to the A1 . Rumors say that the new Q2 will introduce advanced LED headlight technology never before seen in small cars and that Audi will offer customers the chance to personalize the Q2 in any way they see fit.
The Q2 will be a two-door SUV featuring a front-wheel drive system as standard, but quattro four-wheel drive will be offered for the most powerful versions. Under the hood, we will see the same engines as in the A1 including a 1.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder turbo and an efficient 1.6-liter diesel engine.
A concept version of the Audi Q2 should debut in about a year’s time, with a production version set to arrive in 2014.
UPDATE 06/14/2012: British magazine AutoCar is reporting that the first concept of the upcoming Q2 SUV will be unveiled in September at the 2012 Paris Auto Show with a production version to follow in 2015.