Following the reveal of its off-road-capable Activesphere concept, Audi is reportedly working on a rugged electric off-roader that’ll rival the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz EQG and Land Rover Defender EV.
As reported by Autocar, this Audi SUV hasn’t been approved for production just yet but it could come to fruition in 2027 as part of a push into new segments.
Audi designer Marc Lichte told the British publication he thinks “there is space” for a rugged SUV in Audi’s passenger car lineup.
“There is potential because there are only two premium players [in this segment],” said Mr Lichte hinting at Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover.
“I think there is space for a third one.”
Autocar reports this rugged SUV is a separate project to the production version of the high-riding Activesphere concept.
This new Audi electric off-roader will reportedly not be based on the Audi and Porsche co-developed Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture, nor the Ford Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok‘s T6 platform.
Mr Lichte wouldn’t be drawn on specifics, but said it would ride on a platform taken from elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group portfolio.
As the upcoming Volkswagen Group’s MEB-replacing SSP platform has reportedly been delayed until 2028, one option Audi could be looking at is the upcoming Scout’s “new technical platform concept”.
Volkswagen came into possession of the Scout name in 2021 when its Traton truck division bought Navistar, the parent company of International Harvester, the company which built the Jeep-style Scout utes and SUVs from 1961 to 1980.
The first member of the Scout range, an electric ute, is scheduled to go into production in 2026. An SUV version is also planned.
The German trade publication also said Volkswagen was also in discussions with Magna-Steyr, which produces the likes of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class, Fisker Ocean and Jaguar I-Pace at its factory in Graz, Austria.
It’s possible this Audi electric off-roader could be built in the same place as the forthcoming Scout range.
This Audi off-roader isn’t the only electric model the German company is reportedly working on.
Mr Lichte told Auto Express Audi will launch 20 new electric vehicles (EVs) by 2026.
This publication on the other hand reports this electric crossover will be based on the Activesphere concept.
“We’re working on EVs and successors to the ICE models,” said Mr Lichte.
“We’re about to see the biggest product launch in the history of Audi with more than 20 cars in the next two and a half years.”
“That’s why we’re focusing on cars like the Activesphere concept, which is our last show car for the next few years so that we can focus on series production,” added Mr Lichte.
As previously reported, Audi is gearing up to go all-electric by 2033 in all markets except for China.