Audi is placing the dieselgate scandal aside and focusing on the future with a €3 billion ($3,29 billion) investment plan.
The announcement was made by the company and backed up by CEO, Rupert Stadler: “We are continuing with our high levels of investment in future technologies to enhance the strong position of our brand.”
The plan includes a new market segment for the four-ring brand, with a new subcompact SUV, the Q2, which used to be known as the Q1. The model is already in development, as it was caught on camera by our spy photographers a couple of weeks back, and will be positioned against the MINI Countryman.
The Audi Q2 will ride on a shortened version of the VW Group’s MQB platform, and it will stand at around 4.2 meters in length. Its exterior design will get the brand’s familiar SUV shape, in a smaller package, and the instantly recognizable front fascia.
The engine lineup is expected to be carried over from the A1, despite the two of them not sharing the same platform, and it should include a range of four-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel units, connected to six-speed manual or dual-clutch transmissions, sending power to the front-or all four-wheels.
Rumor has it that a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in an SQ2 performance variant and a hybrid e-tron model will join the range. The Audi Q2 is expected to premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, next March, and it’s currently unknown whether it will be offered in the USA too.
The Audi model lineup won’t stop here as a successor for the current Q5 will be presented as well, in 2016, as part of the company’s plan to have a lineup of 60 cars and SUVs by 2020. The German firm did not provide details on the second-gen Q5, but the model is believed to ride on the same MLB platform found on other Audis, from the A4 to the Q7.
The BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC rival will be offered with a choice of four-cylinder and V6 petrol and diesel engines, along with an SQ5 version and, possibly, even an RS Q5. Depending on the model chosen, customers will get front-wheel or all-wheel drive Quattro, along with a six-speed manual, a seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic and an 8-speed automatic.
Finally, Audi said that in 2018, it will launch its first large‑series battery‑electric vehicle based on the e-tron Quattro concept.