Update: ‘Positioning & Platform’ section updated.
In a surprising revelation in March 2022, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann said that the brand is considering introducing an Audi pickup truck, as per an Autocar report. Nobody saw this coming, but it seems like Audi is watching the electric pickup truck segment unfold, and is convinced about evaluating the business case for a premium truck.
New Concept truck to preview its design
Duesmann was speaking to reporters at a media event of the Premium Brand Group that consists of Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, and Ducati. When asked if an Audi pickup truck is possible, he said:
I can’t promise that we will do one (Audi pickup truck), but we are looking into it.Markus Duesmann, CEO, Audi (Premium Brand Group media event in March 2022)
Adrian Hallmark, CEO, Bentley, was quick to deny any plans for a Bentley pickup truck. Duesmann spoke further and indicated that the Audi truck might debut as a concept in the near future.
Actually, we will present – not too far from now – maybe something.Markus Duesmann, CEO, Audi (Premium Brand Group media event in March 2022)
Positioning & Platform
Audi may not dare to release a work truck, as that could have a detrimental impact on its brand image. Mercedes-Benz Group’s failure with the X-Class is a case study that some segments are best left untouched for luxury automakers. Audi could be going after the same market that Rivian is with the R1T, only more luxurious.
In all likeliness, the Audi pickup truck would be a battery-powered EV. As beyond belief as the idea of an Audi pickup truck sounds is Autocar’s speculation that this model could be a technical cousin of the Ford Ranger EV. We doubt a modified version of Ford’s ICE T6 platform would allow building a luxurious electric pickup to meet Audi’s lofty standards and high-tech features one normally associates with a premium German product. What’s relatively less unrealistic is an Audi electric pickup built on the largest version of the MEB platform that underpins the VW ID. Buzz.
The most logical speculation is Audi borrowing the Scout electric truck platform. Scout, Volkswagen Group’s new electrified brand for the U.S., will start production of an all-electric pick-up and a rugged SUV (R-SUV) as its first models in 2026. Volkswagen Group has said that Scout will design, engineer, and manufacture these models on its own.
The future Scout models will be based on a new platform that offers “credibility beyond the existing Volkswagen Group portfolio,” the company said in the brand announcement on May 11, 2022. Citing Oliver Hoffmann, Automotive News reported on July 1, 2022, that Audi is considering to launch models based on the Scout electric platform. Hoffmann is the German luxury automaker’s BoM member responsible for Technical Development.
Featured Image Source: Audi