Audi fans get out your calendars because the automaker is on target to unleash a whole bunch of Quattro on us in the very near future. Not only is Audi confirming the 2019 launch of its coupe-inspired Q8 SUV, it’s also penciling in some dates for the launch of its compact crossover Q1 and the electric Q6.
The big news is the Q8 date of 2019. The range-topping SUV was officially confirmed back in March. It’s a step above the Q7 and will go head-to-head with the BMW X6 and the Mercedes-Benz GLE-class. It’s really aimed at extending Audi’s appeal with a less boxy design. March is also when Audi confirmed plans for the entry-level Q1 which we now know will arrive in 2016 along with the all-new second generation Q7.
As for the electric Q6, it’s due in 2018. Like the Q7 and Q8, it will get the MLB platform. Audi is also going as far as to suggest it will be some major competition for the Tesla Model X.
All of the forthcoming SUVS are part of the automaker’s grand plan to beef up its SUV department in a big way. It hopes to add eight new models, including sedans, and trim levels by 2020. Adding to the Audi lineup won’t come cheaply, either. It’s going to take an $18.5-billion R&D investment through 2019 to get it done.
Despite all the focus on SUVs, Audi isn’t forgetting its roots and will launch its new A4 in the second half of 2015. Earlier in May, Audi showed off the new 2.0-liter TFSI engine that will first appear in the next-generation A4, though it’s not clear if U.S. A4s will get it. The engine actually produces less power and torque than the 2.0-liter TFSI currently offers. The new engine, which features turbocharging and direct-injection technologies, delivers 187 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. By comparison, the current TFSI churns out 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. On the plus side, the new version is more efficient.
Make no doubt about it, the upcoming parade of Audi’s is sure to keep us on our toes.