Spy-Shots of Cars

Earlier this year, Audi engaged in what was to be its most ambitious plan yet to overthrow Mercedes-Benz and BMW as the world’s top premium carmaker by investing a total of €24 billion (RM96.4 billion) – a sizeable chunk of which will be diverted to plans to expand Audi’s range of cars to 60 models by 2020.

In an interview with Automotive News Europe, it was made known by Audi CEO, Rupert Stadler, that the lineup will be expanded to mostly include SUVs/crossovers due to over-burgeoning customer demand for such body styles. “We already decided to go smaller with the Q1 and to go bigger with the Q8. Regardless of the size of the SUV, we strive to be the most sought-after model in the segment,” said Stadler.

The Audi Q1, due in 2016, will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s modular MQB platform and is set to feature as the German marque’s entry-level SUV. Further reports on its technical bits suggest that the Audi Q1 will share engine options with its A1 sibling. As with most Audis, front- and all-wheel drive will be offered.

On the other hand, the Audi Q8 (rendered below), due in 2019, will take the reins from the Q7 and feature as the marque’s flagship SUV instead. Should everything go as planned, the Q8 is expected to hit the market in 2020 and will then compete with the likes of the Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class.

Spy-Shots of Cars

Said flagship SUV is set to arrive with a turbocharged 3.0 litre petrol V6 on the entry-level model while the range-topping RS Q8 will likely sport a twin-turbo 4.0 litre V8. In between, a range of V6 and V8 diesel and petrol mills will be offered alongside a plug-in hybrid and an all-electric e-tron variant.

A third SUV, rumoured to be christened the Q6, is expected to join the lineup in 2018. Said model will differ from most of its sibling by featuring an all-electric powertrain instead and will compete against Tesla’s upcoming Model X. It will debut as the marque’s second e-tron model after the Audi R8 e-tron – the latter set to go on sale later this year.

Despite the TT Offroad Concept receiving positive attention, a road-going version, dubbed the Audi TTQ, has been given the thumbs down for production. According to Stadler, such a model would necessitate the employment of the next-gen MQB platform, allowing the model to debut only after 2020 at the earliest.

Aside from the canned-for-now Audi TTQ, Audi is also adamant that it will not be producing an estate version of the Audi A8 – a model rumoured for production following the reveal of the Audi Prologue Avant concept. A larger, four-seat coupe to go up against BMW’s 6 Series has also been dismissed.

GALLERY: 2015 Audi Q7