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New Audi Q7 (2013) to shed weight. But no Audi Q9 planned.

Fri, 12 Aug 2011

The 2013 Audi Q7 will be much lighter than the current Q7

The Audi Q7 was rather late to the SUV party of the noughties, not hitting the road until 2005.

That meant the Q7 had a bit of an edge when it launched, as it was newer than its competition, but it also means the Q7 is still soldiering on when its competition has already launched newer, shinier models. But Audi are working on fixing that, and fixing the biggest criticism of the Q7 in the process – its sheer weight and size.

The plan is for the new Audi Q7 to launch at the end of 2012 based – as the original was – on the same underpinnings as the Cayenne – a very good starting point. But Audi are keen to make the Q7 more relevant to our straightened times – and keep the SUV gravy train rolling along – by making it much lighter and more economical.

Automobile in the US says that the next generation Q7 will drop a massive 300kg (650lb) when it arrives – fifty per cent more than either the Cayenne or Touareg managed in their second generation. That’s thanks to a plan to downsize engines and make extensive use of aluminium.

Automobile also confirm our story from June when we reported that Audi were planning on expanding their SUV range in a big way. We reported that Audi has plans for a Q1, Q2, Q4 and Q6, and Automobile confirms this. Which is no surprise. Audi are flogging around 200,000 SUV already – split 3:1 in favour of the Q5 – and more SUVs means more sales.

Automobile also back up their reports with a quote from Audi Chairman chairman, Rupert Stadler, who said:

There is no doubt that crossovers are still selling like hotcakes even though the trend seems to be shifting toward more compact models.

But on the subject of a new, gargantuan SUV to sit above the Q7 – and aimed at the Chinese market – Stadler said:

We looked at this segment long and hard. Right now, I am inclined to ignore it.

So, lighter next generation Q7 (by 300kg) and Q5 (by 100kg), smaller capacity, more economical engines for the next generation Q7 and Q5 and a growing range of SUVs to include the Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 and Q6. But no Audi Q9.

Sounds like a plan. If you want an SUV.

By Cars UK