There are several new models planned in the SUV premium segment by Mercedes-Benz and Audi, with a few of them aiming to either fill or create new segments in the market. The addition of new premium SUVs in the market clearly puts the pressure on BMW to further revise their Sports Activity Vehicles lineup.
Audi is set on pouring around 24 billion euros ($28.3 billion) on EV technology and production in the next five years. As part of the Volkswagen Group, the German manufacturer has access to vast resources and technology to create competitive products and is keen on closing the gap in the luxury SUV market, according to a report by Detroit News released earlier this year.
The Ingolstadt-based car maker plans to invest heavily in the SUV range to take on the likes of BMW X5 and X6. While Audi’s Q7 is certainly a step in the right direction, the overall performance and appeal of the Q7 seems to be lacking the same status as its counterparts.
The rumor mill churns out that Audi is planning on releasing a Q8 model which would compete with the BMW X7 – the large SUV coming out in 2018.
The Volkswagen AG unit is “working heavily on this project,” said Rupert Stadler, who last week at the Detroit auto show unveiled a revamped version of the mid-sized Q7, which is currently the brand’s flagship SUV. “[The Q8] would strengthen the brand. I’m convinced we need the car by 2020.”
Currently, Audi is outsold in the U.S. market by BMW delivering half the SUVs. However, Audi plans to strengthen its position by introducing several new models beside the Q9. An Audi Q1 is also rumored to arrive in the future.
Mercedes-Benz has recently revealed the GLE-Class coupe, a direct rival to the BMW X6 in both design, power and luxury levels. Their revamped SUV range now comprises of the GLA-Class, GLK-Class, M-Class, GL-Class, G-Class and the GLE-Class coupe.
Furthermore, the competition is getting stiffer with the entry of some non-traditional SUV manufacturers. New SUVs are being planned by Bentley, Maserati and Jaguar, all aiming to challenge the German big three in that segment.
The charge is headed by Bentley, who is planning to reveal the Bentayga model later this year.
The British marque boasts the Bentayga will become the world’s most luxurious and expensive SUV. As Bentley has always made an effort to produce high-performance vehicles that offer unprecedented luxury levels, this should be no different.
Maserati is finalizing the work on the Levante as well.
This is another luxury performance model that will be targeting the BMW X6 when it arrives, spearheaded by plenty of performance and well-known Italian design and luxury. When released, the Levante will feature Maserati’s 3.0L V6 engine in two versions with different performance figures. By 2018, a 560 horsepower V8 will be added to the lineup – a proper engine to lead the model range.
Jaguar will enter its upcoming F-Pace in this race.
The upcoming model from Jaguar will definitely shake things up in the luxury SUV market, even though it’s more of a crossover than it is a full fledged offroader. After all, the romantic appeal of the highly coveted British car brand is more than enough for lots of people. The Jaguar F-Pace will compete with BMW X1 and X3, as well as the Mini Countryman in both size and luxury.
On the other hand, it would be foolish to forget about one of the biggest sellers in the segment.
The Porsche Cayenne is certainly a competitor with a lot to say in the segment. With its brand name, luxury and performance spearheading sales, together with the overall appeal of the car, it could stir things up in the U.S. market.
While BMW is firmly in the drivers seat in the United States, other markets haven’t been so fruitful for the car maker. Whether the push for more models ends up being successful for any of these car makers – still remains to be seen.
[Images courtesy of Audi, Auto Bild, Motor Talk.de]