Audi will build both an entry-level Q1 crossover and a range-topping Q8 SUV, company technical chief Ulrich Hackenberg confirmed AutoExpress in an interview. The compact Q1 will be introduced towards the end of 2016, while the Q8 is expected to arrive further down the road.
The Q1 will compete in the growing compact crossover segment against existing offerings such as the BMW X1, while the Q8 will be a “sporty Q derivative,” likely aimed at the BMW X7 and recently introduced Mercedes-Benz GLE. Hackenberg was light on details about the two models, which he confirmed during announcements addressing the new Q6 e-tron, set to join the four rings’ growing SUV lineup in three years’ time.
“In early 2018, we will launch a battery-powered sports activity vehicle in the large premium segment with a range of more than 500 kilometres (300 miles)” Hackenberg said. “It will have a new, very attractive design, which we are developing especially for the e-tron range and for battery-powered vehicles. This sports activity vehicle will be built in the second generation of the modular longitude platform (MLB 2) – our concept for the optimal drivetrain diversity implementation.”
The Q6 e-tron will “can be used by families that have some money,” Hackenberg said, alluding to both its size and price. He also noted it will have “a big battery capacity and a range of more than 500km (313 miles),” which is more than the top spec 85 kWh Tesla Model S. More surprisingly, he said it won’t look like any other car in Audi’s Q range.
“It will have a specific design, so we won’t take an A6 or a Q5 or whatever and integrate the battery electric drivetrain,” Hackenberg said. “The build system has the same architecture as an MLB car; that means we can build it in an MLB plant. MLB means that we can work with steel, with a mixture of materials and also with aluminium.”