Audi India topped the luxury car sales chart in FY 2013-14 by surpassing the magical 10,000 unit mark but maintaining leadership position rests on new launches, especially those in the entry-level segments that give big volumes.
In order to retain its crown in the Indian luxury car market, Audi India is replenishing its artillery with new and refreshed products. Here, we take a look at the automaker's product pipeline till 2016, for India and abroad.
1. Audi A3 Sedan (India)
The Audi A3 sedan is arguably the most anticipated luxury car of 2014 in India. The compact executive sedan would be the most affordable Audi in the country and from day one, will work on bringing new audience to the brand.
The MQB platform based car would be offered initially only with a diesel engine. This would be the 2.0-liter TDI engine in its 150 hp spec.
According to Audi India's former CEO Micheal Perschke, the A3 sedan will carry a sub-25 lakh price tag for the entry level variant. Competition would come from the Mercedes CLA which is also on its way to India.
2. 2015 Audi TT
Unveiled at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show in March, the third generation Audi TT is a clear improvement over its predecessor in every aspect. The sportscar has already started testing on Indian roads as a part of the automaker's global testing regime.
Based on VW's MQB platform, the car is 50 kg lighter than the outgoing model. The new TT is to come with one petrol and one diesel engine - a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI in 230 PS and 310 PS avatars, and a 2.0-litre TDI generating 184 PS. A 6-speed manual and a 6-speed S-tronic automatic gearbox are available with optional Quattro AWD system.
The new TT is expected to be launched in India early next year.
3. Audi A6 Facelift
Launched in Europe in 2011, the A6 is due for a facelift, as confirmed by Ulrich Hackenberg to IAB, and the same is expected to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October
The luxury saloon would undergo subtle design revisions, most significant of which would be the introduction of LED Matrix headlights that debuted in the A8 facelift. Other changes will include slightly revised front grille, bumpers and interior.
As far as the powertrain options are concerned, the current Indian lineup, that comprises of 2.0-litre TFSI petrol, 2.0-litre TDI and 3.0-litre TDI diesel units, is expected to remain unchanged.
The 2015 Audi A6 would be locally assembled, just like the current model. The launch could happen in the first half of next year.
4. Audi A7 Facelift
The recently unveiled 2015 Audi A7 gets a styling refresh that is highlighted by redesigned headlamps with LED Matrix elements, new grille, bumpers, alloy wheels and additional interior color themes.
The new A7 Sportback offers a 4.0-litre TSFI and a 3.0-litre TDI engine in varying states of tune. For India, we expect the A7 with the 3.0-liter TDI diesel motor mated to a 7-speed S tronic transmission. The niche product will also come with the updated MMI system. The launch in India would happen sometime in 2015.
5. Audi Q3 Facelift
The Audi Q3 has been an important volume contributor to the brand's Indian operations and the facelifted version has already started testing in Europe.
The updated premium compact SUV would borrow design cues from Audi's recent crossover concepts. The interior is likely to receive minor upgrades.
The Indian model's 2.0-litre TFSI petrol and TDI diesel engines that are mated to a 7-speed S tronic transmission would remain the same. Now that the A3 sedan will ply in the INR 25 lakh segment, it's unclear whether Audi India will choose to complement the no-frills Q3S 2.0-litre TDI with front wheel drive and 6-speed manual transmission.
6. 2016 Audi Q7
The next generation Audi Q7 would be a huge technological leap with a multi-material MLB platform that will also underpin the Bentley SUV and Lamborghini Urus. The new aluminium enriched chassis is said to reduce the weight of the full sized SUV by a good 360 kg.
The new Q7 will tread along the new design path that was previewed by recent concepts such as the Crossover Coupe Concept that was unveiled at this year's Detroit Auto Show.
Powering the SUV will be an array of six- and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, matched to automatic transmissions. Audi has also confirmed that a plug-in hybrid version will join the lineup. Expect an Indian launch sometime in the second half of 2015.
7. Audi Q1
The ever growing market for crossovers of all possible sizes has prompted Audi to expand its Q range downwards from Q3. The smallest member of the SUV family, previewed by the Crossover Coupe Concept, will be called as the Q1.
The Q1 is also based on MQB platform like all of the upcoming Audi cars. The design will be derived from the Crossover Coupe Concept and the length of the new entry level Audi SUV is reported to be 4.15 metres (24 cm shorter than the Q3).
The powertrain options are sketchy but expect compact TFSI and TDI motors in combination with manual and dual clutch automatic transmissions.
Audi has announced that the Q1 will make its international debut in 2016. In India, the mini SUV will create a whole new segment that has no representatives from Mercedes and BMW so far.