Audi to launch BMW X6 rival, Walter de’ Silva confirms image

Audi is set to launch a rival for the BMW X6 crossover and may also introduce an alternative to the future BMW X4, according to VW design boss Walter de’ Silva.

The executive confirmed to Automotive News Europe that Audi approved plans for the X6 competitor, but didn’t say when the car will be launched. The new model, which could be called the Q6, will sport a dynamic appearance with a low-roof, coupe-like profile and will sit between the Q7 large SUV and the Q5 medium SUV in Audi’s range. “We will definitely launch a sportier crossover in between the Q7 and Q5,” de’ Silva said at the Bologna auto show.

The Italian designer also said that Audi is still pondering over adding a smaller crossover, likely named the Q4, to fill the gap between the Q5 and Q3 models. The new model would compete against BMW’s X4, a model whose production has been confirmed by CEO Norbert Reithofer. The X4 should be launched in 2014. With help from the two new models, the Q6 and the Q4, Audi hopes to surpass BMW as the world’s best-selling luxury brand by 2015.

In the first nine months of 2011, the X5 was the best-selling premium large SUV in Europe, with the X6 and the Audi Q7 ranking fifth and sixth, respectively.