SUVs, popular you say? In yet another sign of their taking over the automotive landscape, Audi announced at the 130th annual general meeting in Germany that it plans to roll out seven new variants of existing SUVs before the end of 2019.
And as we’re already nearing the end of May, consumers won’t have long to wait for them either. Although, we’ll have to wait to see which of those will make it to Canadian dealerships. Audi does not automatically bring all of its products to the North American market. That said, given the enormous popularity of SUVs on this side of the pond, we should see at some of the new variants.
Two of the new variants will be Sportback editions, of the Q3 and the upcoming e-tron. Swinging to the far end of the utility-vehicle spectrum, we can expect two “particularly sporty versions” of the new Q8. Already, we’ve been seeing Sq8 and RS Q8 variants in testing. Logic dictates that these versions should be among the new seven newbies Audi will launch this year.
As for the other three, we’re in the realm of speculation. The Audi Spain division recently gave a sneak preview of models to come, and one of them was an RS version of the Q3. This leads to the possibility that a version placed between that RS and the regular Q3 is also in the works. Most likely we’d be looking at an SQ3.
As for the seventh model, two scenarios are possible. We could see an RS Q7, which would complement the mid-generations changes that will be made this year to the Q7 SUV, or else an RS variant of the Q5, so long rumoured to be on the drawing board.
So place your bets. One thing that’s beyond doubt is that Audi dealerships will be stuffed full of SUV models and variants by the time the first snowfall hits.
As it happens, the news of Audi’s ambitious SUV schedule comes the same week that Audi board chairman Bram Schot announced the end of the TT roadster. The executive explained that the company’s strategy was to simplify things going forward, notably by reducing the number of models offered to focus on the ones they do produce. And these would have to make sense financially.