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From electrics to sedans, Audi prepares to enter new niches

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From electrics to sedans, Audi prepares to enter new niches

Diana T. Kurylko

Automotive News -- September 20, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

Audi is planning to jump into several new segments.

Next year it will add the coupe-styled A7 sedan to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Porsche Panamera sedans. The all-new Q3 small crossover goes into production next year in Europe but won't get to the United States until 2013.

Audi is also considering a small electric car based on the next-generation A2.

A2: Audi may revive the A2 name, which was retired in 2005, for a new generation of small vehicles. If approved, only an electric version would be sold in the United States, said Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi AG board member for sales and marketing.

A3: A redesign is planned for 2012.

A4/S4: The sedan and its higher-performance S stablemate will be freshened in 2013. Audi is considering a diesel version, possibly using the V-6 that powers the Q7 crossover.

A5: The coupe and its high-performance RS5 version probably will get a freshening in 2012.

A6: The redesigned sedan goes on sale in 2011, using the underpinnings of the new A7.

A7: The new sedan, which has coupelike styling, goes on sale in 2011, positioned below the A8. The A7, which is slightly shorter and narrower than the A8, will be equipped with all-wheel drive and will be available with a V-6 or V-8. A four-door hardtop convertible has been discussed but has not been approved.

A8: The redesigned long- and short-wheelbase sedans go on sale in November. Audi waited to launch the new A8 in the United States until the longer version went into production because the longer version accounts for 80 percent of A8 sales in the United States.

TT: The two-seat coupe and convertible get a freshening next year and a redesign in 2014. An RS performance version of the coupe will go on sale in the United States in the third quarter of 2011. It will not be available as a convertible. The RS will be powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine with 360 hp.

R8: The convertible Spyder derivative goes on sale this year. An electric-powered version under the e-tron subbrand will arrive in 2012. Audi will produce only 1,000 of the R8 electric supercar, which is 6.7 inches shorter than the R8.

The e-tron version, which has four electric motors, will be more expensive than the gasoline R8 models. The most expensive R8, with a 5.2-liter V-10 engine, is priced at $157,850.

Q3: The new small crossover goes into production next year but won't reach the United States until 2013. Spy photos suggest it is based on the Volkswagen Tiguan.

Q5: The mid-sized crossover gets a hybrid version in 2011.

Q7: The large crossover will be redesigned in 2013.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100920/OEM04/309209996/1295#ixzz1069tWIz9

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