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
About two weeks ago, Audi trademarked a series of new names , providing a glimpse of their future lineup. One of the names trademarked was the Q8, which logically speaking, will be a new SUV placed above the current Q7 . Now, British magazine CAR is offering up the first details on the upcoming SUV.
The future Q8 will be built on the company’s new MLB platform and will benefit from all the technologies that will help the future Q7 be lighter than the current model. This means, the future Q8 will consist of 60% steel and 40% lightweight materials like aluminum.
As for the engine, the upcoming Q8 will see the same engines found in the Q7, except for the car’s new four-cylinder base engine. This means that the Audi Q8 will use two petrol V6 engines with 230 and 300 HP, a V6 TDI engine with 250 HP, and a 4.2 V8 engine with 400 HP. An S version will get a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 with an impressive output of 550 HP. Audi will also be offering a hybrid version that will combine a V6 TDI engine with a pair of electric motors.
Expect to see the new Audi Q8 launched sometime in 2015.
Audi is dead set on hitting their goal of 1.5 million annual sales and expanding in markets like China, Germany, and the United States by 2015. In order to achieve this, its lineup needs to stay fresh, so Audi has gone trademark crazy with Q6, Q8, R6, S2, S9, RS1, and RS8 names getting snagged.
As you can see, some of these name are rather familiar, like the Q6 , RS1 , and RS8. The other four names are completely new; we’ve never even heard rumors about them. Speculatively speaking, the S2 will be a sportier version of the upcoming A2 , and the S9 name gives us hope for an A9 in the near future. As for the R6, it is believed to be the company’s new sports car that will be placed under the current R8 . This vehicle was previously rumored to be called either the R4 or R5 . Only time will tell if any one of these names will stick.
As for the Q8, it will be an SUV placed above the current Q7. It is set to become the largest and most luxurious SUV Audi has ever offered.