Audi e-tron quattro concept
Ingolstadt moves to catch rivals
The debut of the pocket-sized Q2 crossover at the Geneva motor show next week won’t be the first or the last step in Ingolstadt’s advance against competitors. The Q2 will allow the automaker to take on the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class directly in a segment getting more lucrative every month, but there is still room at the other end of the size spectrum.
Audi will roll out the Q8 in 2019, a vehicle set to battle the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Coupe. Expect the Q8 to feature design elements previewed by coupe concepts like the Audi Prologue, though the vehicle itself will be based on the Q7, which went on sale in the U.S. last month.
For Audi, the focus on crossovers and SUVs is nothing new, though its lineup has lagged behind new entries from European rivals. Late to the party, Audi’s success now depends on the large coupe-style premium SUV segment still being in demand three years from now — an uncomfortably long stretch when it comes to automotive fashion.
Audi e-tron quattro rear
Before the Q8 debuts, Audi plans to roll out an electric SUV in 2018. Expected to be positioned just below the Q7 in size, the unnamed SUV will use tech and styling previewed by the e-tron quattro concept shown at the Frankfurt motor show last fall.
The Q5-sized concept featured three motors — one driving the front wheels and two driving the rear wheels — drawing juice from a 95 kWh battery. The pure-electric concept, which can charged in 50 minutes, boasts a range of 310 miles. When the production version lands, it will take on the Tesla Model X in addition to hybrids and hydrocarbon-powered SUVs, Audi hopes.