Ambitious plans to expand the Audi range portfolio to in excess of 40 models by 2015 have moved a step further this week with the announcement that the new Q3 SUV is to join the line-up in 2011. The new compact SUV, which will complement the five-seat Q5 and the seven-seat Q7, is the latest beneficiary of the 2 Billion Euros allocated annually by Audi AG for the development of a broader range populated exclusively by innovative, cutting edge models. The broadening of the youngest range of cars in the premium sector is already well under way, the number of UK Audi models increasing from just 12 in 1999 to a total of 32 today.
- Recently announced addition to ‘Q’ SUV range expected in 2011
- Ambitious Audi AG plan to broaden range to 40-plus models by 2015
- A4 allroad quattro, A5 and S5 Cabriolet, R8 V10 and TTRS models to bring UK Audi range total to 32 models in 2009
- 4 drivetrains create new models within model ranges
- Global sales success sees Audi break the one million cars barrier in 2008
Audi UK has enjoyed an exceptionally rapid rise to prominence in the premium sector. In 2000 just over 43,000 Audi models found homes in the UK, and from that point until 2008 the brand has continually broken annual sales records in Britain, successfully passing the milestone 100,000 sales mark in 2007 and 2008, when it ended the year with a record 4.7 per cent market share from 100,845 sales.
Globally, the brand exceeded one million vehicle deliveries for the first time in its history in 2008, marking the occasion with its best ever revenue figure and a record profit-before-tax total of 3.177 billion Euros (£2.94 billion) in the process.
With its programmes for both road and race cars the brand continues to maintain its dramatic trajectory. On the road it has extended its reach into important new segments with strong offerings such as the A3 Cabriolet, A5 Cabriolet, Q5, RS 6 and R8 sports car, while at the same time bolstering its appeal to its existing customer base with core models like the all-new A4. The UK is also notable as one of the largest markets in the world for the legendary TT, and for the A4 Cabriolet which has now given way to the A5.
The car range regarded by many as the most salient in the world is not only expanding in terms of the number of model silhouettes, but also in terms of the variety of drive trains. For example Audi is unique in the world motor industry for offering four types of transmission including the still unique-in-sector Audi Multitronic CVT as well as the state of the art Dual clutch S tronic gearboxes for both transverse ‘East-West’ and longitudinal ‘North-South’ applications. This significantly widens the customer choices available in the fast rising Audi range.
2009 and 2010 will see intense expansion
We have already seen five new cars due for introduction in 2009 including the new A4 allroad quattro and S4 Saloon and Avant, the A5 and S5 Cabriolets, the TT RS Coupe and Roadster and the R8 V10. Still to come are a further three new models or replacements before the end of 2010.
Already this year, Audi has made headlines not only with news of forthcoming confirmed production models such as the Q3, but also with debuts of concept studies that could form the basis for future production models. The new Audi Sportback concept put Detroit in a spin in January with a seamless blend of sports coupe desirability and five-door hatchback practicality that made it one of the undisputed stars of the 2009 North American International Automobile Show. The sleek five-door GT is the latest in a long line of Audi design studies, many of which have transferred virtually unchanged to the production line, and not only offered a glimpse of Audi’s future design vocabulary, but also raised the stakes technologically with a new 47mpg-plus TDI engine featuring the world’s cleanest diesel technology. This technology is already production-ready and will be a feature of the recently announced Q7 3.0 TDI Clean Diesel.
Meanwhile the Audi A4 Avant has left the executive car park to head for the hills as the new A4 allroad quattro, a more agile and ruggedly styled interpretation of the acclaimed compact executive which made its world public debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March.
The spirit of the revolutionary Audi quattro of the 1980s was also reborn in Geneva for the 21st Century in the shape of the TT RS, a remarkable successor to the long-mourned classic equipped with a new high-tech, 340PS interpretation of the quattro’s evocative five-cylinder turbo engine. Now available to order in the UK in Coupe and Roadster forms, the new high performance sports cars are set to reach their first customers in June.
Furthermore a new version of the acclaimed Audi TT Roadster will make it a little easier for sun worshippers to weather the economic storm as they work on the all-important tan this summer. Due with its first UK customers this month, the new TT slots into the range just below the existing 2.0 TFSI model, and runs its more familiar relative impressively close both on the equipment checklist and on the move thanks to its all-new 1.8-litre TFSI petrol engine.