Audi mulls full-size SUV to take on BMW X7, Mercedes GLS

BMW and Mercedes-Benz have the crossover segment largely locked down. Both German luxury brands offer a CUV or SUV to fit nearly anyone’s space requirements. Audi can almost say the same, save for one glaring omission: a full-size SUV.

The Audi Q7 is as large as the quad-ring brand goes currently, but that could be changing soon. Speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), Audi of America’s director of product planning, Barry Hoch, recognized the need for a larger SUV and said his team is pushing to fill the void.

“For us, obviously, one request from this side of the ocean is to have an even bigger SUV,” such as a Mercedes GLS competitor, said Hoch. “That’s pure white space that’s out there for us,” he added. “From an American perspective, that’s one we are pushing to get, and I think we’re getting some traction.” Americans do love their large SUVs, but what could Audi do to harness that?

One answer could come from its parent company, Volkswagen, and the previously confirmed T-Prime Concept GTE. The T-Prime concept was originally thought to be a preview for the all-new Touareg, but the automaker has confirmed this SUV will be larger. If it actually slots in above the Touareg, the new model could give Audi’s designers and product planners a tempting canvas to build a vehicle above the Q7.

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE concept, 2016 Beijing Auto Show

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE concept, 2016 Beijing Auto Show

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE concept, 2016 Beijing Auto Show

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE concept, 2016 Beijing Auto Show

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE concept, 2016 Beijing Auto Show

Volkswagen T-Prime GTE concept, 2016 Beijing Auto Show

Audi isn’t just looking at more crossovers and SUVs, though. It’s also eying more wagons as well.

“There is a small group of aficionados who could benefit from an additional wagon from Audi,” Hoch said. “It’s certainly something that we see over in Europe, and I want it.”

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