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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Audi: Flood of new modular models

Audi Nuvolari
Here is a short overview of some of the planned new models by Audi. No big news, but a nice reminder.
Audi executives have confirmed that the go-ahead has been given for a new large coupe, positioned between the TT and the R8.

This car, a four-seat grand tourer called A5, is based on the Nuvolari concept car shown at the 2003 Geneva Motor Show. With A4 running gear, it'll go on sale next year.

Audi's just-launched Q7 SUV and forthcoming R8 supercar will spearhead a major new product initiative from VW's upscale division over the next few years. And it'll be followed by more new niche models that are possible because of new modular manufacturing techniques. According to Audi sources these include:

A7: a "four-door coupe" to rival the Mercedes-Benz CLS. U.K. magazine Car carried artists' impressions of this vehicle. Based on the A6 platform, it features concealed rear doors without visible door handles and a low-profile roof, also similar to the Nuvolari. Expect to see it around 2008.

A2: a new, more conventional replacement for the all-aluminum A2 that looks like a TT hatch and contains strong design links to the Shooting Brake concept of last year. It's aimed to win sales from Mini owners who are starting to be sick of retro styling.

Q5: a low-riding SUV crossover similar to the Roadjet concept, based on the A4's running gear. Due in 2008.

Q3: a small Golf-based SUV, a sister model to the forthcoming Volkswagen Beduin/Marrakesh.

Small sports car: a stripped-out roadster being developed jointly with Austrian motorcycle maker KTM. Due in 2008.

Large wagon: still under consideration, but it looks more likely since BMW announced plans to launch a Mercedes R-Class fighter. This will look like a big Roadjet. Your guess is as good as ours as to its name, though. Seems like Audi is running out of combinations of numbers that go with A and Q. Maybe they'll name it the AQ or the QA.

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Source: Inside Line


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