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Audi unlikely to produce BMW 8 Series rival, design head admits

The Audi Prologue Concept offers an insight into how a range-topping Audi coupe might look. — Handout via AFP
The Audi Prologue Concept offers an insight into how a range-topping Audi coupe might look. — Handout via AFP

MUNICH, Jan 3 — Although Audi’s design supremo Marc Lichte admits he would be eager for his company to produce a luxury coupe to rival BMW’s eagerly anticipated new 8 Series, and he does have ideas for such models already, a lack of market demand for such a car means it’s unlikely at the moment.

Even though the luxury coupé segment appears to be undergoing something of a resurgence at the moment with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé, and the upcoming BMW 8 Series and the Polestar 1 from Volvo’s performance arm, Audi looks to be staying out of the fray, at least for the moment.

When questioned about the possibility of going head-to-head with the likes of BMW and Mercedes and others in the two-door luxury coupe segment, Lichte told Autocar, “I love the shape of a two-door coupé, but it is also true that the [sales] volumes [for them] are much lower than for four-doors. In the future, who knows? We have many ideas in this direction.”

It’s no secret Audi has moved away from two-door cars in recent times, although the impressive Prologue concept car showcased at the Los Angeles Auto Show in 2014, did give an intriguing insight into how a range-topping Audi coupé might look. In fact, the Prologue was one of the first designs Lichte came up with for Audi, and was effectively intended to preview a then-new design language for the brand that could still emerge one day as an A9 two-door flagship coupé.

If Audi was to relent and decide to produce such a car, there doesn’t appear to be room in the schedule for it until at least 2019 anyway, as no fewer than four new Audi models are already fast approaching. The first is a new A6, which will then be followed by the Q8, a new A1 and a new Q3.

Of course, if the 8 Series proves as successful as the X6 SUV coupé was with buyers when it was introduced to a sceptical media, Audi may need to have a rethink. — AFP-Relaxnews

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