Hoping its new models won’t get overlooked in the industry’s year-end blowouts, Audi has decided to delay the launch of three new crossovers. Audi had originally planned to launch hybrid and diesel variants of the Q7 at the end of this year.
Now Audi’s Q7 hybrid and diesel along with the Audi Q5, a compact SUV that will rival the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLK, will launch in early 2009 where Audi hopes to make a big impact.
“The decision is also related to maintaining higher residuals and added marketing opportunities “” we could use the Detroit auto show to market them,” Audi of America”s executive vice president, Johan de Nysschen told Automotive News.
The Audi Q7 will be powered by a 3.6-liter that produces 280 horsepower and is mated to an electric engine. The hybrid system will use about 23 percent less fuel. Audi says it cannot provide a mileage range as of yet. The electric motor works at speeds of 12 to 15 mph without gasoline, and will go as fast as 31 mph.
The Audi Q7 diesel variant will be powered by a 3.0 liter V6 turbodiesel engine producing about 230 hp and about 400 pounds-feet of torque. It will be available for all 50 states at the end of 2008. The diesel Audi Q7 is expected to have 600-mile range on one tank of gasoline.
According to de Nysschen, the same engine can be used in the Q5 as well as the A4, A6 and A8 cars. He says that bringing those models over to the United States “is just a matter of formality.”
By delaying the launch Audi will be able to label the new crossovers as 2010 models since sales aren’t scheduled to begin until the third quarter of 2009.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
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