Faith be in the ever-growing demand for SUVs

Automakers have latched onto and sucked continuously on the fleshy meat that is consumer demand for SUVs, crossovers, and an imaginary segment known as the coupe-SUV. The latter of which is a filled by a small number of SUVs that have manufacturer proclaimed “coupe-like dimensions” while riding on jacked-up, SUV-like suspension. It’s a mishmash of vehicle types, really, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time. The point is, our insatiable love for SUVs have led automakers to believe that the market is going to continue growing almost indefinitely. So much so that Ford believes it’s going to account for more than 45 percent of the auto industry within the next five or seven years. But, Ford isn’t the only one, as we’ve just received word that the Audi Q8 and, surprisingly, the Audi Q4 are about to go into production.

The Audi Q8, which we’ve already seen in concept form more than once, with the Q8 E-tron Concept getting a ton of attention at the Detroit Auto Show and it’s sibling – the Q8 Sport Concept – garnering its fair share of attention from the Geneva International Motor Show. They were obviously big hits, and Audi is wasting no time on the production version – it’s slated to go into production sometime in 2018 (probably early-2018) in Slovakia. The model will be Audi’s range-topping SUV, dethroning the Q7 and increasing Audi’s personal chunk of the Luxury SUV segment. It will be produced alongside the Q7 s and Q7 e-tron.

Then you’ve got this mythical creature known as the Audi Q4. This model has been rumored for years but was finally confirmed back in 2011 when VAG’s design boss confirmed that it and the Q6 were coming. Well, after that the trail went cold for a while, but then we saw the 2014 Audi TT Offroad Concept and the rumors began to fly that this concept was going to be the basis for the Q4. It wasn’t until 2016 that Audi finally got the Q4 name from FCA. It was trademarked six months later, and now we finally hear that it’s set to go into production as a “compact utility vehicle” at BMW’s Hungary plant in 2019.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

Big Brother, Little Brother

2018 Audi Q8
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2015 Audi Q4
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Okay, so we know that the Q8 is going to be a big, sporty monster and Audi claims the Q4 will feature a “typical coupe-style silhouette.” But, outside of that, we know very little about the Q4 unless we look back at that Audi TT Offroad Concept. That, like our rendering of the Q4, is based on a slightly outdated design language, but the same general concept of design remains intact. Expect the Q4 to be a mishmash of the TT Offroad Concept and the Q8 Sport Concept, obviously toned down a bit. Meanwhile, the Q8 will take on the styling cues we saw on the two recent QQ concepts but, toned down as well.

The production models won’t get those cool door poppers, and we’ll see headlights that are more in line with what other modern production vehicles have. The front fascia of both models will be tamed to look more in-line with the rest of Audi’s lineup. The interior of both models will likely resemble what we see in the 2017 Audi Q7. Expect the Q4 to be priced right around $35,000 to start (right between the Q3 and Q5) while the Q8 will likely sit somewhere around $65,000 or $70,000, since the Q7 starts out at $54,800.

Press Release

Audi is to expand its portfolio with two new Q models and has announced where they will be built: Production of the Audi Q8 will start in Bratislava (Slovakia) in 2018 and the first Audi Q4 will drive off the assembly line in Győr (Hungary) in 2019.

“We will integrate two completely new Q‑models into the existing production network and will thus increase our competitiveness in an extremely important segment,” stated Audi’s Board of Management Member for Production and Logistics, Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl.

With the Audi Q8, the brand will open up a new segment for its top-end models. The premium SUV in a coupe style combines great spaciousness with emotive design and offers the latest technologies in assistance and infotainment systems. Audi will produce the model in Bratislava as of 2018. The Audi Q7 has already been produced at the Slovakian plant since 2005. Meanwhile, the second generation of the large SUV is in production there, as an S version and as the Q7 e-tron plug-in hybrid.

In 2019, production of the Audi Q4 will start at Audi Hungaria in Győr. With this model, the brand is entering the segment of compact utility vehicles (CUVs). Featuring a typical coupe-style silhouette, the Audi Q4 will be positioned between the Audi Q3 and Q5. And as of 2018, Audi Hungaria will also be responsible for production of the Audi Q3 compact SUV, which until then will continue to be produced in Martorell, Spain.

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