Exclusive! The Future Audi SUV.
Article and Photos by Matt Daniels.
Back in February when Jason Teller, Neil McGary and myself were in Germany, we saw many interesting things, but nothing would turn out to be more exciting than this unique looking vehicle that we saw driving around Audi's Ingolstadt plant. It turns out that it was an Audi SUV concept car!
We were at the Ingolstadt production facility sitting in our car checking out a trainload of Audi's heading out of the plant. When the train passed, there was an empty train returning to the plant that allowed us to see the other side of the tracks. This SUV stood out immediately, since in Germany is seems like only 1 out of every 80 cars is an SUV-type vehicle. At first we were really excited because we thought that it was the Allroad quattro, but we soon realized that this was a lot larger than the A6-based Allroad.
After a few moments the empty train passed and the first thing we noticed was that there were no Audi rings on the grille of this car. That didn't stop Neil and I from taking a few pictures, however. While it definitely was not the Allroad quattro, it did strike very a strong resemblance to it. Neil was in hysterics over how cool this thing looked, when it passed us he jumped out of the car and chased it to see where it was going. He told us that it drove down the road about half-a-block and then turned into a gated building on the Audi campus. He was able to take a few more pictures of it before it drove into a building.
The next day we had scheduled meetings at the Audi plant. We had lunch with a couple of Audi marketing and product development people, and about halfway through lunch Neil flat out asked them when the Audi SUV was going to be debuted. At first they thought he was talking about the Allroad and they proceeded to tell us all about it. Neil cut them off in mid-sentence and described what we had seen the day before. They said that we must be mistaken and we had probably seen some other manufacturers' car. "Audi has no plans for a vehicle like that!"
Neil produced his digital camera and showed them the images on the display screen. Needless to say they weren't too happy to see their top-secret concept on the camera of an American journalist. They immediately asked him to delete the images, but Neil refused. Over the next few minutes they pleaded with us to delete the images, but Neil wouldn't budge. One of the men, a marketing manager by the name of Hans Grüber, finally resorted to threatening Neil. He basically said something to the effect of "If you would like to have a 'trouble free' relationship with Audi in the future, you better get rid of those images... and you can figure out your own way around Germany when we take back the car we loaned you". Jason and I were pretty freaked out by this guy, and we had to plead with Neil to delete the images. After a moment of reluctance, Neil deleted the images. Mr. Grüber asked us if we had taken any other photos and we told him that the digital camera images were the only photos we had. He then told us that he better not see anything about this car on our site or we would have trouble in the future.
Now, two months later, we have decided that we should be able to publish the images I took with my camera. In our opinion, if they didn't want this car out in the public eye then they shouldn't have been carelessly driving it around the plant.
So here they are--an exclusive look at the future Audi SUV. We don't have many details about it other than it is a concept car created by Audi. Since it is functional, we are guessing that it's going to be introduced at one of the big auto shows. We thought it would be at the Geneva show, but we didn't hear anything about it. Maybe it will be at Frankfurt show in September.
One last thing to mention about the Audi SUV concept vehicle don't believe everything you see and read on April Fools Day. Happy April Fools day from A4.Org.
Check out the April Fool's Day SUV FAQ for answers to your burning questions about this article.
|Copyright (c) 1999 AudiWorld|