Audi recently gave its annual meeting where the Chairman of Audi AG gave his remarks on the future of the brand to investors, board members, and the like. There was a lot of interesting news dropped that Audi fanatics like my readers (and myself) would be interested in, so let’s analyze the speech here, First, we’ll start with the new or totally redesigned models. Over 20 new models will be updated by the end of the year – the big new launches are the allroad & S4 coming back to the B9 platform, and the redesigned A5/S5. On the SUV front, the Q2 mini-SUV (pictured above) is launching, the SQ7 & Q7 e-tron variants will launch and the redesigned Q5 will debut. That’s a lot of totally new cars! Additionally, the A3/S3 will be getting a facelift moving to the new grille that was previewed during the RS3 leaks.
In 2017, the big news will be the launch of the new flagship A8 model, which will have autonomous driving built into it, not to mention a ton of other high-tech features I’m sure. Car & Driver has more predictions of what the new A8 will entail, but suffice to say it’s important model for the brand. Photo credit above to Car & Driver which is an artist’s rendering, which is based off the A9 Prologue concept I covered here in the past.
On a more strategic level, Audi has three pillars – technology, electric cars, and catering to urban environments. Audi plans to continue working on their technology to help drivers avoid traffic, accidents, and make their commutes easier and less stressful. Audi plans to have fully autonomous vehicles by 2025, and the A8 will launch with self-driving mode up to 60 km/hr in 2017. Even as someone who loves to drive, I’m excited for self-driving cars for those times when I’d rather not be doing the hard work. The new A4 is receiving rave reviews for its technology, and I have the feeling it is just the beginning for Audi.
From an electric car standpoint, they plan to launch a new FULLY electric car model every year, starting with the SUV segment. That is big news, and Audi clarifies that the hybrids are really just a transitionary approach and that the future is all electric. To do this Audi needs to build out a charging network much like Tesla has, so their work is cut out for them. Above you see the Audi E-Tron Quattro concept which Audi debuted at CES in America and is probably a good hint of what the car will look like.
From an urbanization standpoint, Audi plans to test and roll out various forms of “Audi on demand” where you can rent or borrow Audis rather than outright own them. There are a ton of start-ups doing this in the US already, but piloting a service directly from the brand is a novel approach. I’m particularly excited for “Audi Select” where you can have access to multiple different vehicles per year, so you’re not stuck with the same car and get some variety – including, potentially, a few Ducati motorcycles as well.
That’s the speech in a nutshell, so get excited Audi fans! Personally I’m excited for the SQ7 TDI which looks handsome pictured above.
Model Year 2017 Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices & Retail Release Dates*
(Excluding destination charge, taxes, title, options and dealer charges. Dealer sets actual price.)
|Model||Engine||Transmission||Premium||Premium Plus||Prestige||Single Trim|
|A4 Sedan||2.0T||S tronic FWD||$37,300||$41,100||$45,900||/|
|A4 Sedan||2.0T||S tronic q||$39,400||$43,200||$48,000||/|
|A5 Cabriolet Sport||2.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||/||$48,600|
|S5 Cabriolet||3.0T||S tronic q||/||/||/||$61,100|
|A5 Coupe Sport||2.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||/||$42,200|
|A5 Coupe Sport||2.0T||Man q||/||/||/||$41,200|
|S5 Coupe||3.0T||S tronic q||/||/||/||$54,100|
|S5 Coupe||3.0T||Man q||/||/||/||$53,100|
|A6 Sedan||2.0T||S tronic FWD||$47,600||$51,600||/||/|
|A6 Sedan||2.0T||Tiptronic q||$49,800||$53,800||/||/|
|A6 Sedan||3.0T||Tiptronic q||/||$58,600||$61,600||/|
|A6 Competition||3.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||$67,600||/|
|S6 Sedan||4.0T||S tronic q||/||$70,900||$74,100||/|
|A7 Competition||3.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||$76,550||/|
|S7||4.0T||S tronic q||/||$79,900||$82,900||/|
|RS 7||4.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||$110,700||/|
|RS 7 perform.||4.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||$129,500||/|
|A8 L||3.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||/||$82,500|
|A8 L||4.0T Sport||Tiptronic q||/||/||/||$91,500|
|S8 plus||4.0T||Tiptronic q||/||/||/||$115,900|
|R8 Coupe||V10||S tronic q||/||/||/||$162,900|
|R8 Coupe||V10 plus||S tronic q||/||/||/||$189,900|
|TT Coupe||2.0T||S tronic q||/||/||/||$43,500|
|TTS Coupe||2.0T||S tronic q||/||/||/||$52,500|
|TT Roadster||2.0T||S tronic q||/||/||/||$47,000|
Photo Credit in this article all belongs to the Audi-Mediacenter.com unless otherwise noted.