Audi has begun development of a new crossover model with a focus on performance that aims to directly rival the BMW X6. This model is expected to be named the Q6 when it arrives at North American showrooms. It’s rumored that the five-seat crossover will be based on the same all-wheel-drive underpinnings as the second-generation Volkswagen Touareg and the Porsche Cayenne.
These two vehicles use a short-wheelbase version of the Volkswagen Group's Colorado platform that in long-wheelbase guise has also been used in the Audi Q7. So far, no official details have been released.
But Audi boss Rupert Stadler was interviewed by German media at the Geneva Auto Show and he said that the crossover is a “model between the Q5 and the Q7” and that it will be a coupelike, four-wheel-driven model.
Audi decided to add the Q6 to its lineup after it was urged by its North American and Chinese subsidiaries for a standard-size SUV to compete with the BMW X6, which is expected to double the original global sales predictions in 2010, says Autocar.
Like the X6, the Q6 will be offered in the U.S. with several gasoline and diesel engines, as well as a hybrid option that’s similar to what's used on the Touareg and Cayenne hybrids.
Providing “coupelike” styling and standard “four-wheel drive” to this new model also leads the way for a sporting variant from Audi quattro, the same division credited for its diverse range of RS models. It’s believed that Audi is considering an RS Q6 model with the new turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine, which is expected to be featured in the RS6 at the Frankfurt motor show this September.