It seems that Audi has learned a very important lesson: big cars are no longer the future! An Ingolstadt source has reported that the new Audi A8 will be the last model to come out larger than the vehicle that precedes it. Starting with the next generation Q7, Audi will focus on a smaller, less aggressively styled SUV.
The Q7 sales have seen a significant drop in 2009 and, lets face it with the price of gasoline lately, no one needs a gas guzzler! In Europe, more than anywhere else, the Q7 has had no success among customers. The trend where the size of your car was everything is no longer relevant. Clients are now interested in fuel economy. So Audi is planning on offering two versions for the future Q7: an XXL seven-seater for China, the Middle East, and North America and a relatively compact five-seater for Europe and the rest of the world. Will these plans help out with sales? Audi isn’t sure so concrete plans are being held off until the company has a better idea for potential sales.
Audi is currently analyzing two options. Their first option is using a high-strength steel platform that would reduce the Q7’s weight by a maximum of 550 pounds. Unfortunately, this is not enough to reduce fuel consumption. Their second option is using an all-new aluminum space frame architecture that will reduce weight by almost 1100 pounds, but this is very expensive. So, what will they finally do? We’ll have to wait and see!