For reasons beyond our understanding, Audi has refused to put the fabled Four Rings on a luxurious SUV version of the first VW Amarok. The second-gen pickup truck now uses Ford Ranger underpinnings, so it's highly unlikely to happen. However, a new report from Autocar speculates the folks from Ingolstadt are interested in coming out with a belated answer to the Mercedes G-Class. An electric off-roader could happen to fight the upcoming EQG.
Hot on the heels of the Activesphere concept's debut this week, the British magazine claims Audi's head honchos are about to approve a go-anywhere EV for production. If green-lighted, the adventurous electric SUV will be launched around 2027, some three years after the EQG goes on sale. Autocar has it on good authority it wouldn't be based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE), nor on Ford's T6 architecture that has underpinned the Ranger and Everest SUV along with the Amarok.
Audi Activesphere Concept
The Volkswagen Group's Scalable Systems Platform has been pushed back until closer to the end of the decade, so Audi's ladder-frame electric SUV is unlikely to use SSP. Instead, it could be mechanically twinned with the VW Group's revival of the "Scout" name with a pickup and SUV scheduled to arrive in 2026. Audi's design chief Marc Lichte said "there is space" for such a model, adding "there is potential because there are only two premium players."
He was obviously referring to the G-Class and Defender, with the latter also confirmed to spawn a purely electric derivative in the second half of the decade. If the electric SUV will get the stamp of approval, Lichte said it's not going to have boxy styling: "It will not look like a G-Class and it will not look like a Defender, I can promise you. It will be something else."
Logic tells us that "something else" would be in the same vein as the Activesphere pictured here. Audi's design chief says his team already has "concrete ideas, very concrete ideas" about how a rugged electric SUV should look. Using a dedicated EV platform would result in short overhangs, which would consequently improve approach and departure angles.
However, the project is still in its infancy as Lichte said it's too premature to talk about whether the higher-ups in Germany have approved one of the proposed designs.