Three new SUVs, including an all-electric model, have been confirmed as part of Audi‘s product expansion program through 2019.
Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in a statement Friday how the company is spending the 24 million euros in the next four years and expanding the product portfolio from 52 to 60 offerings.
Aside from the redesigned Q7 and 2016 A4 launching this year, the majority of the new cars will be new SUV offerings. Stadler again confirmed the Audi Q1 would begin production in the Ingolstadt facility beginning in 2016.
The Audi Q8, based on the 2016 Q7, would arrive in 2019. This model is expected to be a rival to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe, as well as be the most expensive and lavishly appointed Audi SUV. Unlike the soon-to-be-launched Q7, expect to see more design details from the Audi Prologue concepts on the Q8.
Finally, Stadler said Audi, “is also developing a sporty SUV with electric drive,” which is to be launched in 2018. Few details are known about this Audi EV, but it’s expected to take technology from the R8 e-tron and marry it with the body of a five-passenger crossover. It’s likely this could be sized between the Q7 and next-generation Q5. Sources say the Audi could be good for a range of 300 miles, which would make its prime target the Tesla Model X crossover.
All of these SUVs will help keep Audi firmly in the luxury car fight between BMW and Mercedes, and likely to boost its fortunes in North America, too.
*Note: Audi Q7 and TT Offroad Concept pictured