Audi is planning to expand its SUV lineup with the new flagship Q9 model in the near future. Recently, the German marque unveiled the Q8 as its flagship SUV in Shenzhen, China, but the new Q9 would be positioned over the Q8 SUV. When asked if Audi has any plans for Q9, Rupert Stadler, Former CEO of Audi, abstained from ruling out the possibility told Autocar UK, “The customers will tell us what they want in the future. Time will tell.” When asked the same, Audi design chief, Marc Lichte said, “We have so many ideas, so many ideas...”
Audi believes that there is a possibility of even a larger and more luxurious SUV that can take on the likes of the Range Rover. Once the model gets approval, it is likely to be based on the same platform that underpins Q8, Porsche Cayenne, and Lamborghini Urus. Stadler also confirmed for a plug-in hybrid Q8 and a high-performance RS version would join the line-up. Although, we can expect the Audi Q8 SUV to touch the Indian shore by 2019.
Just as the Range Rover is unquestioned in its segment, on the other hand, Audi believes there is space to expand on price and positioning in its catalogue. With that, it can take the challenge to Land Rover, as Q9 will not just be packed with all the technology, but with luxury as well, making it the direct rival to the Range Rover, just like the Audi Q8 that will pounce against Range Rover Sport.
While talking about the range and on the plans to launch a Q9 as a flagship SUV, Audi confirms that it currently has no plans to launch an entry-level SUV positioned under the Q2. When asked for the plans for Q1, Stadler said, “I think we are well-equipped with Q2 because this is already a premium product at the right price point. The A1 is our car for very young people. Possibilities below that get tighter.”
Source: Autocar UK