Next Audi A4 and Q7 Sent Back to the Design Table
Ever since the upper-management shakeup at Audi last year, details have been murky on when the new A4 sedan and Q7 SUV would make their debuts. Well, as Car & Driver reports, the two popular vehicles have been redirected back into development.
The A4 was originally on track for a debut later this year with its menacing new look, but Audi’s head of R&D, Wolfgang Dürheimer, was unexpectedly “moved to another position within the Volkswagen Group” for apparently ruffling too many feathers in the short 10 months he occupied the position. Now Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen’s R&D former front man, fills the role. Hackenberg made the call to postpone the A4’s launch in order to rework its styling and fine tune its suspension and assistance systems to ensure everything meets Audi’s ever-increasing expectations. It appears the A4 is rescheduled for the summer of 2015 with a hybrid version coming as well.
An oddly similar story surrounds the Q7. Another Audi executive named Wolfgang — this time Wolfgang Egger, Audi’s chief designer — was canned and replaced by yet another Volkswagen employee, Marc Lichte. Now both new in their positions, Hackenberg and Lichte are reworking the Q7 at the design level. Car & Driver’s insider reports the new design will be softer and less aggressive than Egger’s original plans. This is the Q7’s second delay attributed to its exterior design. There’s no real word on when the Q7 will eventually see production, but at this rate, we’re expecting it to fly and cure cancer.
Click past the jump to read more about the next Audi A4 and Audi Q7.
The Q7 is the three-row luxury SUV Audi uses to compete with the Mercedes GL-Class and BMW’s X5. Like its two competitors, the Q7 offers a stout diesel option that helps with fuel economy while generating copious amounts of torque. Specific output levels for the Q7’s 3.0-liter TDI engine are 240 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque from the V-6. EPA estimates of fuel consumption are 19 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
A 3.0-liter TFSI turbocharged gasoline engine is also available. Making 280 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, the Q7 only earns 16 city/22 highway/18 combined fuel economy ratings from the EPA.
Starting at $47,700, the price can quickly jump past $65,000 with all the option boxes checked.
The A4 is Audi’s entry level luxury sedan with a lot riding on its shoulders. Directly competing against the Mercedes-Benz CLA250, BMW 328i and Lexus IS250, the Audi finds itself in the ring with some fierce rivals. Nevertheless, the A4 does a superb job of holding its own. The somewhat bland exterior is made tolerable by the outstandingly beautiful interior Audi has become known for.
Powered by a 2.0-liter, turbocharged in-line four making 220 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, the A4 is available in both front- and all-wheel-drive. That AWD system is Audi’s famed Quattro system that has a 40:60 rear split on power delivery, giving the sedan a nice RWD feel while still maintaining the grip and all weather capabilities of an AWD car.
Starting price for an A4 begins at $33,800 and can climb beyond the $45,000 mark.
Source: Car & Driver