Everyone knew this was going to happen. Trucks and SUVs are what is selling, and electric trucks and SUVs will soon be taking over their respective segments. So if you’re Audi, you’ve got to be developing them both. And that is what Audi CEO Markus Duesmann alluded to today at the VW Group’s annual earnings report.
Would Audi really do a pickup?
“I can’t promise we will do one, but we are looking into it,” Duesmann said. “We will present, not too far from now, maybe something,” he added. If it does it should be debuting at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
While a hybrid could be in the works, with the speed at which automakers are switching to EVs, it doesn’t seem likely. Through parent VW, Audi can jump on the MEB or PPE electric platforms right now. The will significantly shorten development time.
Has Audi ever made a pickup truck?
And both are all-wheel drive, which you would expect in an Audi pickup truck. While Audi has never produced a pickup, it is familiar with off-road aesthetics. In 2019 its AI: Trail Quattro concept wowed everyone.
It was a dune buggy-like electric vision of the future, with seating for four. The “off-roader of the future,” is how Audi put it. Blending the outside into the cabin, a copious amount of glass was used. And the glass extending close to the rockers gives everyone a view of what is close. The same goes for the panoramic roof giving unobstructed views of the sky.
Audi said at the time it wanted to open up the potential for it to create vehicles to include “off-road terrain.” The AI: Trail utilized an electric motor at each wheel. It also incorporated “systems for assisted and automated driving and, typical for Audi, Quattro permanent all-wheel drive.”
Audi knows off-roading
So Audi has had its eye on off-roading for a while. It found it important enough to create a concept to get everyone used to the idea. This new concept coming in September should give a much more realistic look at what an Audi pickup might look like.
According to AutoCar, with access to everything Volkswagen makes, there is a possibility that Audi could turn to the next generation Amarok as the basis for the truck. But it would be a bit short-sighted to use a hybrid platform.
Could this be a sibling to the Amarok?
VW and Ford are co-developing what will be the next Ranger and Amarok, using a highly modified T6 platform for both. They should be revealed later this year, with production soon to follow. It is doubtful that North America would see the Amarok at VW dealers.
The future of transportation is becoming clearer, and those manufacturers that wish to remain in the biz are pivoting to trucks and electrification. Audi is sending the message it plans to stick around.