Audi will launch four all-new cars next year, plus green upgrades to other models, in spite of CEO Rupert Stadler telling What Car? he doesn't necessarily want Audi to be positioned as a green brand!
Next year there will be fuel economy and environmental enhancements to many of the cars in the Audi range, including the roll-out of emissions-cutting stop-start technology on models including the successful Q5 SUV.
However, when talking to What Car?, Audi boss Rupert Stadler said that he wanted Audi to be famous for its Vorsprung Durch Technik motto meaning progress through technology and not necessarily as a green brand.
Vorsprung Durch Technik
'We will stick to our Vorsprung Durch Technik philosophy, not have a catch-all marketing claim such as Efficient Dynamics,' said Stadler.
'We're convinced in Vorsprung Durch Technik, we're a dynamic, sporty brand, but not necessarily positioned as a green brand. That will come about as a matter of course.'
First of the all-new cars to arrive following its lavish launch in Miami this week will be the all-new A8, going on sale in the early part of next year. Among the many improvements is an average fuel economy reduction of 21%, mainly from Audi's range of next-generation diesels.
We should get first sight of the production version of the Audi A1 supermini within the next couple of months, with the car due to go on sale in the UK in September.
A1 versus Mini
Prices for the A1 will be very close to that of the Mini we expect them to start at around 13,000, although Audi is keen to stress that it will be specced 'as an Audi should be specced'.
Stadler says that the A1 'will be the right product to wear the Audi badge and it will be different to rivals in terms of quality, design, touch and style'.
'We'll be treating the customers well and see it as a good opportunity to get younger buyers into the Audi brand.'
A five-door Audi A7 Sportback similar to the concept car first shown at last January's Detroit motor show will be unveiled in the summer, based on the next-generation A6. We'd expect it to command a similar premium over the A6 as the A5 Sportback does over the A4, so starting prices should be around 28,000.
Finally, at the end of the year, we'll see an all-new A6 to rival BMW's recently announced new 5 Series. The new A6 will shares many of its parts with the new A7.
More new cars will follow in 2011, including the Audi A3 and a small SUV to rival BMW's X1 and Ford's Kuga.
However, Stadler said that Audi has no plans to launch anything smaller than the A1, ruling out an A0 based on VW's Up!. A new, high-tech and possibly electric A2 is on the cards, though, said to be 'away from the mainstream' a bit like it's predecessor.