Audi dismisses smaller model as plans for monster SUV emerge

No model below A1, according to CEO Stadler, but a Q9 is likely

Audi’s Rupert Stadler says no to a small car, but yes to a mega-SUV

Audi’s Rupert Stadler says no to a small car, but yes to a mega-SUV


Audi boss Rupert Stadler has confirmed that the car maker will not be building a model smaller than the current A1.

There had been speculation that Audi was keen to do a super-efficient replacement for the late-1990s A2 based around the platform of the Volkswagen Up, but Stadler has quashed those rumours.

Speaking in a press conference at the recent Beijing Motor Show, Stadler said: “We are quite happy with A1. It sells 120,000 units, and has a high degree of equipment and accessories,
so profit margins are quite good. There is no need for a car below A1 in the range.”

Audi seems more keen to expand its range upwards and, sadly for enthusiasts, that’s more likely to mean a super-luxury SUV rather than an A8-style coupe or a big front-engined sports car.

An Audi Q9 has been mentioned as a possibility before, and while Stadler stopped short of confirming that such a model was in the works, he did allude to the fact that Audi wants to expand its current Q-badged range, saying that by 2020 Q-models will account for as much as 45 per cent of Audi sales.

The Q9 will have no shortage of rivals if and when it arrives, though. Not only will it face internal competition from the likes of Bentley’s SUV and the Lamborghini Urus (which is about to be confirmed for production in VW’s factory in Bratislava where the bodies for the Porsche Cayenne, VW Touareg and Audi Q7 are also built) but also from the likes of BMW’s recently confirmed X7 and a potential replacement
for Mercedes’ seven-seat GL series.

Stadler did confirm that any big, flagship model would have to include e-Tron partial electric drive though, as Audi is keen to start taking the green-motoring fight to BMW.

Currently, only the A3 has an on-sale e-Tron package, but the technology is expected to roll out across the Audi range in pretty short order.