With growth in SUVs proving to be stronger than in any other segment, Audi, like many of its rivals, is pushing ahead with the launch of more high-riding models. The automaker has now confirmed three additional SUVs for its lineup which will be growing from 52 distinct models today to 60 by 2020.
The three new SUVs include a subcompact model to be called the Q1, a coupe-like model to be called the Q6 and a large, luxurious model to be called the Q8. We’ve already reported on each of the vehicles but now Audi has confirmed when we’ll see them.
The Q1 will arrive first, making its debut in 2016. Unfortunately, the vehicle won’t be sold in the U.S. as Audi has no plans to go smaller than the A3 in these parts, at least in the near term. The Q1 will essentially be a high-riding version of the A1 subcompact sold overseas.
It will be followed by a Q6.
Purported Audi Q6 electric crossover teaser image. Image via Autocar.
The Q6 will feature a coupe-like profile and have an all-electric variant to take on Tesla Motors’ [NSDQ:TSLA] upcoming Model X. Audi has confirmed that this all-electric variant will be launched in 2018. Likely to be called a Q6 E-Tron, we’ve heard that the vehicle will have a 310-mile driving range. It’s not clear when we’ll first see regular versions of the Q6 but a launch in 2017 is possible.
Finally, in 2019, Audi will launch its Q8. This will be a large, luxurious SUV possibly with coupe-like styling as well. It will target the likes of the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, Land Rover Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz GL in the full-size luxury SUV segment. Also joining the fray will be a BMW X7 and Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
All of these new products have a hefty development bill. For that purpose, Audi has approved the biggest investment program in its history: 24 billion euros (approximately $26.8 billion) is to be invested between 2015 and 2019—2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) more than in the previous planning period. 70 percent of that capital expenditure will flow into the development of new models and technologies, Audi says.
With these new models, Audi expects to continue breaking sales records. Already this year the automaker is on track to beat its previous record of 1.74 million vehicles sold in 2014, with more than 591,000 cars delivered in the first four months of this year, and that’s before crucial new models like the 2016 Q7, 2016 R8 and 2017 A4 are launched.