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Audi turns to Eastern Europe to build new Qs

Q4 and Q8 coupe-like SUVs headed to production in Hungary and Slovakia

Published: April 11, 2017, 10:30 PM
Updated: April 16, 2017, 5:34 AM

Audi Q8 Sport Concept

Audi is expanding its sport-utility line-up with one new “coupe” model at each end of the spectrum, building them in separate Eastern European facilities.

“We will integrate two completely new Q‑models into the existing production network and will thus increase our competitiveness in an extremely important segment,” said Audi’s Board of Management Member for Production and Logistics, Prof. Dr. Hubert Waltl.

The new Q8 will slot in at the top end of the line, offering a fastback type profile to the large 4-door SUV. Audi promises premium presentation with an emotive design, and a spacious interior with the latest technologies in infotainment systems and driving aids. Production is due to start in 2018 in Bratislava, Slovakia, in the same plant that is now producing the second-generation of the more traditionally-styled Q7, with which the Q8 will share architecture. The plug-in hybrid Q7 e-tron is also produced there.

Audi TT Offroad Concept

Introduced to the world in concept form at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Q8 is expected to adopt much of the Q7 workings and models, including the 3.3 turbocharged V-6 for North American markets and likely also an e-tron plug-in version.

A year farther way and 80 km south of there, in Győr, Hungary, the Q4 will draw Audi into the CUV segment — which Audi materials claim stands for compact utility vehicle probably due to its coupe silhouette that would remind buyers of a sport-compact— slotting in between the compact Q3 and the mid-sized Q5. The 2019-production of the Q4 will follow production of the Q3, which moves over to Győr from Spain next year.

The Q4 is expected to closely resemble the TT Offroad concept unveiled at the 2014 Beijing Motor Show and, like the Q7/Q8 relationship, it’s expected to base its presentation on the Q3, including power from the turbo 2.0-litre 4-cylinder.