During its recent Audi Annual General Meeting, Chairman of the Board of Management, Rupert Stadler provided a glimpse of Audi’s plans over the next decade.
Kicking off those plans, Audi will introduce the compact Q2 SUV later this year, after first making its official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year.
Audi also confirmed that in the European market the Q2 will come with an unlimited data SIM card allowing it to be constantly connected, with a range of data services, as well as operating as a WiFi hotspot.
The Q2 will be one of just 20 new or updated models that Audi has scheduled for release in 2016 alone, other confirmed launches include the S4 range, including S4 Sedan and S4 Avant.
Stadler also announced that a new A8, following in the stylistic footsteps of the Audi’s earlier Prologue concepts, would arrive in 2017 bringing with it the production debit of Audi’s ‘Piloted’ range of semi-autonomous driver aids.
The first step in the Piloted program will see the new A8 able to drive itself, temporarily, at speeds of up to 60km/h thanks to Traffic Jam Pilot, with advancement of the technology expected to grow from there.
“By 2025, we will see fully automated driving.” Stadler declared.
Previously Audi’s Piloted A7 prototype made the 900km journey from California to Nevada in 2015, and prior to that the Piloted RS 7 of 2014 was demonstrated lapping the Hockenheimring
Audi will also concentrate on expanding its e-tron range, introducing its first fully-electric large-series production EV with an as-yet unnamed “sporty SUV” previewed by the Q6 e-tron concept, set to go into production in Brussels, where Audi will also create its own battery production facility.
“Starting in 2018, we will launch another electrified car each year,” Stadler said of the company’s EV aspirations. “Electrification and digitization represent an historic shift. We will play a large part in shaping this change and will thus further enhance our strong position.”
Audi also gave a brief update on its San José Chiapa, Mexico production facility which is currently under construction, but expected to start production of Q5s for the North American market later this year.