Audi may soon offer a premium-oriented pickup truck that can compete with the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux. This is because such a model has been considered.
Markus Duesmann, the CEO of the German brand, confirmed this shocking confirmation when he was asked if an Audi pick up was possible. He said, “I can’t guarantee that we will do one but we are looking into it.”
He spoke to reporters along with the CEOs of each brand of Audi Group – Bentley Lamborghini, Ducati and Lamborghini – before the group’s annual earnings reports.
After Duesmann’s reply, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark joked that he would not like one to be in the Bentley portfolio.
Audi refused to give any additional details on any pick-up model but Duesmann said: “Actually we will present – not too far from now- maybe something”, hinting that there might be an announcement or confirmation of the model.
The firm presented the new Audi A6 Avant E-tron Concept at its annual conference. It will also unwrap the UrbanSphere SUV, the third entry in its Sphere family. However, neither of these vehicles would be suitable for open-back body options. The firm also displayed the bizarre AI:Trail concept in 2019, a high-powered electric offroader that has Level 4 autonomous functionality. This could be the basis of a future production model.
Audi may be able to leverage its relationship with Volkswagen parent company to launch its version of the second-generation Volkswagen Amarok. This is possible as part of a strategic partnership between both companies.
The Amarok was shown in a series design sketches, and will be revealed in a matter months. It will be manufactured by Ford in Silvertown South Africa and will come with either a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine or a 3.0-litre diesel V6.
It is important to remember that low-selling models can be developed using the same modular electric vehicle platforms used across the VW Group. They require less effort and can share most of their technical components.
Audi could then draw on the MEB architecture and the PPE platform that it is developing together with Porsche to create an all-electric pick up. Both are offered with four-wheel drive.
Audi, if it goes ahead with its plans to enter commercial vehicle sales, will become the first premium German manufacturer since Mercedes-Benz’s short-lived X-Class – a luxurious pick-up based upon the Nissan Navara.
The X-Class had been on sale for only two years and was withdrawn from production due to slow sales and a larger cost-cutting initiative.
Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini CEO, didn’t attend the pick-up conversation. However, his company was the only one to have such a vehicle in its back catalog – the company produced 328 examples between 1986 and 1993 of the V12-engined LM002 Off-roader.