German luxury carmaker Audi, a unit of Volkswagen AG, is on track to surpass its target of selling around 150,000 cars and sports utility vehicles in the United States in 2013. Audi posted a 14-percent rise in sales in the US in the first seven months of 2013. VW’s luxury brand sold 139,310 vehicles in full year 2012.
Mercedes-Benz still lead the race to become the best-selling luxury carmaker in the US after logging a 12-percent rise in sales in the first seven months of 2013 to 165,598 units. Mercedes, however, is still behind BMW brand and Audi in terms of worldwide sales. Scott Keogh, president of Audi of America, told Bloomberg in an interview that the brand is “continuing to get stronger and stronger."
Audi’s strong performance in the first seven months of 2013 is boosted by strong sales of its Q5 SUV, which surged 37 percent in the January- July period to 21,486 units. Audi also expects to get a boost from a number of diesel models that will arrive in dealerships this month.
Audi is rolling out a diesel-powered version of the Q5, the A6 and A7 this month in the US. Audi already rolled out a diesel version of its A8 sedan earlier this year. Keogh remarked that those diesel models will certainly contribute to the brand’s growth in the country.
The sportiness, versatility and attractiveness of the new Audi Q5 are some of its secrets to being the most successful mid-class sports utility vehicle in Europe. Its latest iteration furthers the appeal of this performance SUV by injecting a number of innovations in the field of design, engine, infotainment and assistance systems.
For instance, the new Q5 is available as a hybrid quattro version that boasts of the power of a six-cylinder engine but the fuel economy of a four-cylinder mill. Likewise, there is the new SQ5 TDI that’s Audi’s first S model powered by a diesel engine, which is tuned to deliver 230 kW (313 hp) of output.
The latest iteration of the Audi Q5 retains its sportiness, thanks to a revised version of its flat roof arch. Moreover, the Audi Q5 now features a single-frame grille with chamfered top corners, with its Audi rings and vertical chrome struts given a more sculptural appearance. In addition, Audi has given the new Q5 with new bumpers, front fog lights and air inlets.
Meanwhile, the new Q5 could be availed with optional xenon plus headlights, which feature a continuous strip of LED daytime running lights around its border. The rear lights have a similar appearance. For those who are seeking more distinctive looks, Audi is offering two optional packages: the sporty S line exterior package and the offroad styling package.
Amazingly, the bonnet and the wrap-around tailgate of the new Q5 are made from aluminum while the passenger cell employs advanced form-hardened steels that are lightweight but are also extremely strong.