Audi is expected to add new SUVs to its line up soon, including a 350 kgs lighter Q7 and a coupe-styled SUV that will fit between the Audi Q3 and Q5. The company is also planning a mini-Q3 SUV, inspired by the Crosslane Coupe concept, which was unveiled at the Paris motor show in September 2012. The next-generation Audi Q7 will benefit from a new ‘multi-materials’ version of Audi’s next-generation MLB platform, as told by Wolfgang Durheimer, Audi’s head of technical development.
The next-gen Audi Q7 will be structured with an updated version of the architecture which is being used to make the current A4 to A7 models. This updated super-light version of the new MLB architecture will mix steel, aluminum and carbon-fibre structural parts to build the next-gen Audi Q7. The construction will feature new riveting and bonding techniques and the bare body shell will be 200 kgs lighter than the current Q7 model. Upcoming models of the Porsche Cayenne, Bentley Continental and forthcoming SUVs from the Volkswagen Group are likely to use the same Q7 structure.
The Volkswagen Group MLB platform is the company’s platform strategy, announced in 2012. Volkswagen Group markets the strategy under the code name MLB, which stands for Modularer Langsbaukasten, which means ‘Modular Longitudinal Matrix’. The biggest feature is the uniform position of all motors and transmissions and by fitting all motors into the same place, the company hopes to cut down on engineering costs and weight/complexity when porting the car over to other models. Current models based on the MLB platform are Audi’s A4, A5, A6, A7, A8 and Q5.
Source – Autocar UK