Americans Want It Bigger, and Audi's Working On It

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
americans want it bigger and audi s working on it

As Audi pushes new and refreshed product out the door in a mad rush, hoping to create the youngest lineup of any German automaker, it can’t ignore the requests of brand loyalists. In the United States, those buyers want one thing more anything else: a bigger SUV.

The three-row Q7 is nice, but in the land of Expeditions and Suburbans, it simply doesn’t measure up. Space-obsessed German vehicle aficionados can climb into a Mercedes-Benz GLS and enjoy more room. Naturally, Audi isn’t about to let an opportunity slip away.

It also wants to do something about those pesky buyers who want more cargo room, but won’t drive an SUV.

Speaking at the launch of the A5 and S5 Sportback in Seattle, Audi of America planning director Barry Hoch said the automaker’s lineup has plenty of room to expand — especially in the upward direction. According to Automotive News, Hoch claims the company’s American brass are busy pressuring Ingolstadt to give U.S. buyers what they want most.

“For us, obviously, one request from this side of the ocean is to have an even bigger SUV,” said Hoch. “That’s pure white space that’s out there for us. From an American perspective, that’s one we are pushing to get, and I think we’re getting some traction.”

While Audi has a coupe-like Q8 SUV in the works, the luxury-laden model won’t best the Q7 in terms of passenger or cargo space. The concept shown in Detroit this year only had four seats! That simply won’t do. Americans need space for dogs and muddy (but not too muddy) kids.

As it strong-arms its corporate overlords to green-light something huge, Audi has other customers to think about. Namely, those who think SUVs are crass.

Explaining that a segment of American Audi buyers remain staunchly “anti-SUV,” Hoch said he’d like to see more cargo-friendly offerings on the smaller end of the lineup. The automaker has already decided to hatchback all the things, but only one wagon exists stateside — the A4 Allroad.

There is a small group of aficionados who could benefit from an additional wagon from Audi,” Hoch said. “It’s certainly something that we see over in Europe, and I want it.”

European buyers can still buy an A6 wagon in Avant, Allroad, S6 and RS 6 guises, something American wagon snobs (or auto journos) can only dream of.

[Image: Audi AG]

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4 of 27 comments
  • DearS DearS on Jun 10, 2017

    Gas prices, safety and fuel efficiency will continue to improve. I don't blame folks for going bigger. A Honda Pilot is very big to me, even bigger from my Mazda3. Even with side airbags I want to get something bigger just to feel safe. CR-V or CX-5 are probably in my future. If only German cars had a better reputation for reliability, although I feel OK about an older X3 or X5.

    • VW4motion VW4motion on Jun 11, 2017

      If you're looking at a cr-v or cx-5 take a look at the Forester XT Touring. That vehicle destroys the cx-5 and CR-V in almost every category. Or just the Forester Touring 2.5. My wife has that cuv and we are averaging 29 mpg and we just got close to averaging 36 mpg on a 700 mile trip to Yellowstone. If you don't like the Forester, go with the CX-5 especially if you want awd.

  • Hummer Hummer on Jun 11, 2017

    Does no one take notice at how boring Audi's designs are? I've never seen anyone point it out but literally everything they make has that dumpy look.

    • Stuki Stuki on Jun 11, 2017

      I like the look of most Audis. The SUVs look dull, but all SUVs do. Among Sedans and coupes, I tend to prefer the traditional Audi look, to the more currently fashionable precrashed one.

  • El Kevarino If you have an EV platform that supports dual motor AWD, then why choose FWD for the 2WD version?
  • Analoggrotto Try as they may and as they might but the future of Electric, the future of human reality is TESLA. Only the highest level of affluence, priviledge and wealth can earn one a place in the stars. In fact when you look at the night's sky do you notice that the stars are brighter? This is because of Supreme Wizard Elon Musk, who has brightened them with this awesome grace.
  • Dukeisduke Sixty-five miles of range added in ten minutes? Doesn't sound very impressive.Also, how are they going to build these in volume if GM is building Ultium packs by hand (which they have been, slowly)? Or are the packs coming from Korea?
  • Dave M. On one hand Honda tends to make a strong, competitive product that should give you years of excellent service. On the other hand it's built on the bones of a GM product, who has a tendency to underbake their products until right before cancellation. NUMMI worked out well for GM; I wonder if this will work out well for Honda....
  • RICHARD @mebgardner I have no issues with the way the car is configured. No offensive nannies.