Audi will start the New Year with a sensation. At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit in January 2017, the premium manufacturer is to present the Audi Q8 concept. The near-production study represents a synthesis of the emotional styling of a coupé and the spaciousness that typifies an SUV, with all its variability. With this move, the brand is unlocking a new segment for the full-size category.
“With the Audi Q8 concept, we have created a new spearhead within our Q model line. Its design strongly evokes sportiness and prestige,” declared Audi Head of Design Marc Lichte. “What’s more, we believe an important aspect of this showcar is that it offers a spacious interior with four equally comfortable seats, even with the flat roof line.”
The study vehicle’s front end is imposing. The octagonal Singleframe is considerably wider than that in Audi’s current production models. It is positioned well forward, with three-dimensional sculpting. Many design elements of the Q8 concept are reminiscent of the Audi Ur-quattro of the 1980s. They include the extremely flat but very wide C-post, and the prominent, flared shoulders above the wheels. These balanced proportions give equal emphasis to the front and rear wheels – typically quattro.
Meanwhile Audi continues its course of growth: the brand’s deliveries increased by 4.3 percent to around 154,050 units in the past month. Demand rose sharply in Europe where two important new models, the Audi Q2 and the Audi A5, were launched on the market only recently. Across the entire portfolio, sales in the region increased by 9.5 percent to around 68,200 automobiles. The company also posted further growth in the two other core regions of North America (+3.6%) and Asia-Pacific (+0.8%) in November. Since the start of the year around 1,713,900 customers worldwide decided to buy an Audi; 4.2 percent more than in the same period last year.
Audi’s sales continue to grow; this year Europe is the strongest growth engine for the brand
“This year Europe is the strongest growth engine for Audi. Despite numerous political and economic uncertainties, we managed to increase sales substantially in all our large European markets,” says Dietmar Voggenreiter, Board member for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG. “The launch of the new Audi Q2 in Europe further underpins this development. The compact SUV will be an important sales driver in the region in future, as already demonstrated by current orders.”
The market introduction of the new Audi A5 is also already reflected in the sales total. For instance, sales of the A5 Coupé in Europe doubled to around 1,130 units in November. The sustained high level of demand for the new Audi A4 had an equally positive effect on the delivery results. With around 12,200 units sold, the mid-sized model exceeded the same month in 2015 by 51.6 percent. Across all models, Audi increased sales in Europe by 9.5 percent to around 68,200 units in the past month.
The United Kingdom (+18.0% to 12,970 units), France (+32.0% to 6,551 units) as well as Italy (+18.8% to 5,570 automobiles) and Spain (+24.7% to 4,176 deliveries) proved highly dynamic with double-digit growth rates. In Russia sales figures fell by 32.1 percent to 1,486 units in November.
Between January and November a total of around 795,050 customers in Europe received keys for their new Audi. That is 7.1 percent more than one year ago. The Four Rings also performed well in Europe with its high-performance portfolio from Audi Sport. Since the start of the year deliveries of the Audi R8 increased by 27 percent to around 1,370 units.