By the end of the decade, Audi’s lineup could look vastly different from how it does today if the brand’s Sphere series of electric land yachts is any indication of its future plans. In fact, a pickup truck may even be in the cards, too.
The German automaker’s CEO, Markus Duesmann, teased such a vehicle while speaking to the media ahead of Audi Group’s latest earnings call, Autocar has reported. Specifically, the chief executive said that while he can’t promise Audi will produce a pickup, the brand is “looking into it.”
That sort of “maybe we will, maybe we won’t” teasing isn’t unusual among people in Duesmann’s line of work. What makes this more interesting is that Audi is taking the truck idea so seriously that it may have already explored it in concept form. From the article:
Audi would not be drawn into giving any further details about any potential pick-up model, but Duesmann did say: “Actually, we will present – not too far from now – maybe something”, hinting at the possibility for an imminent concept unveiling or an official confirmation of the model.
There’s clearly no better time to get into the pickup game. If Audi wants in, it has the hardware to do it via Volkswagen’s Amarok, a midsize truck based on the Ford Ranger that is sold outside the U.S. and Canada. The next-generation Amarok is coming, after all, and it will once again be derived from Ford’s workhorse.
So why shouldn’t Audi cash in? Some automakers, like Kia, are waiting for electric vehicles to saturate the market before trying their hands at trucks, because the modularity of EV platforms makes that sort of experimentation relatively easy. Audi might not even wait that long by the sound of things.
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If the theoretical Audi truck does come to pass, it could steer clear of our shores just like the Amarok and Mercedes’ own short-lived pickup, the Nissan Navara-based X-Class. The X-Class never caught on in Europe in its three years on the market, prompting Audi’s rival to discontinue the vehicle in May of 2020. One might worry an Audi-branded pickup could run a similar risk, but given that trucks have replaced luxury sedans as the status symbols of our time, Duesmann and company have every reason to give it a shot.