If you don’t count the Cross Cabriolet Concept Quattro Concept from back in 2007, Audi has never built and sold a convertible SUV. Thankfully the luxury marque has decided against taking on rivals like the Range Rover Evoque. But if new patent filings are any indication, the German marque could be readying some sort of convertible cross cabriolet for the near future… let’s just hope it changes drastically before hitting the production line.
The patent images, uncovered by Autoguide, show a strange-looking SUV with a unique folding mechanism that allows the vehicle to be designed by B and D pillars, which would improve rollover protection. The roof itself is broken into three different parts, and is able to be folded away behind the rear seats. A large portion of the roof still remains over the driver and front passenger seats.
"Due to the presence of the side pillars and the rear pillars in the closed state of the roof [up], a motor vehicle is provided which has a far greater transport capacity than known convertible vehicles," Audi stated in the patent application.
Basic as it may look, the design is actually pretty ingenious. The central portion of the roof folds down into the trunk, while the rear portion acts as a cover, helping to simplify the process and reduce weight. The design also still allows for plenty of storage room in the trunk.
If Audi did decide to bring the technology to consumers, the Q8 would be the most likely candidate for cabrio conversion. It would make sense for the halo SUV, which will be available in both standard and coupe versions when it goes on sale in just a few months, to also have a cabrio option. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.