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Audi set to double range

One of many: Audi is set to try its hand with the A6 Avant wagon again in Australia as it ramps up its range.

Ambitious 62 models planned by Audi as range set to explode by 2020

18 Jul 2011

AUDI plans to double its range to 62 models by 2020, with Australia getting the lion’s share of the offerings as the German brand surges ahead of schedule towards its goal of top-spot in the luxury market.

Among them will be the A6 hybrid, which will lead the charge towards electrification of the Audi range from about 2013, and the all-new A3 that is expected to include a full electric model from about 2014.

A new and sportier A6 Avant wagon and the previously confirmed Q3 compact SUV are just some of the new models in the pipeline in a model explosion that has dealers racing to prepare.

From 27 models in a range of 13 nameplates in the middle of last year, Audi is now selling about 30 models, and is heading towards 42 by 2015.

Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen told GoAuto that range would grow to 62 by 2020, with Australia taking most of those models where available.

He said Audi’s rivals in Australia – mainly Mercedes-Benz and BMW – imported most models in right-hand drive, and Audi would do the same.

7 center imageLeft: Audi Australia managing director Uwe Hagen. Below: Audi A6 hybrid, Q3 and A3 sedan concept.

“I think this market is really specific, and if there is a chance to integrate a new model (into the market), we will do this,” he told GoAuto at the Australian launch of the 2011 A6 range.

However, Mr Hagen said the capacity of dealerships – particularly service technicians – was a factor in new-model planning, and the company was conscious that it did not want to overwhelm the network.

Audi Australia last week confirmed that the new A6 range – launched in three V6 quattro variants – would grow to five by about October with the arrival of two front-drive, four-cylinder entry-level variants.

Although the Avant wagon that is about to be launched in Europe is still officially only under consideration, Mr Hagen indicated that Audi would give it another try, despite a patchy sales record in this country.

“I personally think, with the A6, there is a potential for a wagon, and we will try this,” he told us.

“If you look at this car (the A6), it combines driving innovation and a lot of space, so I personally think there is a market for a wagon.

“Maybe we have to make it a little bit more sporty.”

Mr Hagen said the target date for the Avant was the end of this year or early next year.

He said the curent Avant-based Allroad crossover wagon will continue in the market in parallel with the new A6.

Mr Hagen said the S6 would arrive in late 2012 or early 2013, and the even hotter RS6 would get here late in the model cycle, about the end of 2013.

Mr Hagen said he did not know details of the S6 and RS6, but European reports suggest they will both be powered by turbocharged V8s, with the RS6’s twin-turbo engine producing more power than the superseded model’s Lamborghini-derived V10 while making large fuel-economy gains.

Audi Australia has formally confirmed its intention to add the petrol-electric hybrid version of the A6 to the family from about 2013.

In Europe, Audi will start taking customer orders for the hybrid in the next few months.

The hybrid combines a 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine producing 155kW of power and 350Nm of torque with an electric motor that delivers 33kW and 211Nm.

Sitting directly behind the petrol engine, the electric motor occupies the space of the torque converter ahead of the eight-speed tiptronic transmission that drives the front wheels.

Audi claims the 1.3kWh lithium-ion battery can drive the vehicle 100km on electric power at a constant 60km/h, while also providing the acceleration of a V6.

Fuel consumption is expected to be 6.2 litres per 100km, which is inferior to the new A6 3.0 TDI diesel (6.0L/100km), let alone the upcoming four-cylinder 2.0 TDI A6, which is expected to return a sub-5.0L/100km result.

A hybrid version of the flagship A8 sedan is also mooted for 2013.

At the other end of the scale, Audi Australia has also locked in its first A1 diesel for launch in about October, and is still considering an entry-level 1.2-litre petrol version.

The Polo-based A1 has become Audi's third biggest seller in Australia, with added impetus arriving in the form of the A1 Sport hot hatch in recent weeks.

In the first six months of this year, Audi sold 7974 cars – up 10.4 per cent on the first half of 2010 – putting it on track to top 15,000 vehicles in 2011.

This is well ahead of its target of 15,000 sales by 2015, and on track to overtake rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz in the same year.

The arrival of the mass-selling Q3 compact SUV is expected to add significant volume from the first half of 2012.

Another mass seller, the A3, is also set for a makeover, with the sedan expected at this year's Frankfurt motor show.

However, Mr Hagen said the A3 would not appear in Australia until 2013.

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