Audi Confirms Pickup Truck Under Consideration, Could Arrive Soon In Concept Form
This article includes speculative illustrations for an Audi Quattro pickup created by independent designer Raleigh Haire in 2020 that are neither related to nor endorsed by Audi.
Audi is looking into adding a pickup in its model range as it was confirmed by its CEO, Markus Duesmann, during the automaker’s annual media conference. This bold statement was followed by a hint on an upcoming concept car featuring a pickup bodystyle.
As reported by Autocar, when Audi’s CEO was asked about a possible pickup, he replied: “I can’t promise that we will do one, but we are looking into it”. He also went on suggesting that Audi will soon launch a pickup concept by saying: “Actually, we will present – not too far from now – maybe something”. Bentley’s CEO, Adrian Hallmark, who was present in the conversation, joked by saying that “he wouldn’t love to” have a pickup in the Bentley portfolio.
The pictured Audi Quattro concept was created by independent designer Raleigh Haire in 2020, envisioning a pickup bearing the Audi emblem.
The upcoming concept will be the first pickup in Audi’s history and while we don’t know much about its size, we can speculate based on the available platforms in the VW Group. If we are talking about an ICE-powered model, the most obvious choice would be for Audi to use the underpinnings of the upcoming second-generation VW Amarok, which in turn are shared with the Ford Ranger. This would place Audi’s pickup in the one-tonne segment next to the likes of the Toyota Hilux, the Isuzu D-Max, and the Mitsubishi Triton / L200.
The second scenario – and the most plausible given the timing of the announcement – would be a fully electric pickup that could potentially compete with the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Tesla Cybertruck, and the GMC Hummer EV. Audi has access to plenty of EV platforms including the MEB and the PPE architectures, with both offering AWD capability and increased modularity in terms of size and power outputs. In our eyes, a fully electric pickup is the safest bet since Audi will launch its last ICE-powered model in 2026, before going all-electric in the early ‘30s, leaving little time for anything new with a combustion engine under the bonnet.
Audi’s AI:Trail concept from 2019 was a design study on a fully electric off-roader
In terms of exterior design, Audi’s pickup could take inspiration from the off-road-focused AI:Trail concept that was introduced in 2019. Of course, most of its styling features would need to be toned down for production. A model like this would target buyers with an active lifestyle who want a vehicle with a premium interior featuring the latest tech from VW Group’s parts bin including active suspension setup and autonomous driving capability.
The last time a premium automaker was involved with the pickup segment, things didn’t go smoothly. The Mercedes-Benz X-Class was introduced in production form in July 2017, sharing its ladder-frame platform with the Nissan Navara and the Renault Alaskan. Poor sales of the pickup led to its early demise in May 2020 when production stopped. Let’s hope that Audi strikes a different chord with its proposal because it would be interesting to see this segment grow with more entries in the future.