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Audi on attack


Everything from an A5 cabrio, A5 Sportback, A4 Allroad wagon, A7 four-door sports coupe, A1 Sportsback, Q3 off-roader and R8 convertible is on the books.

But Audi Australia is not revealing just what is likely to head to Australia.

Audi Australia general manager of marketing, Immo Buschmann, is giving little away on the new arrivals, only confirmed the early 2009 launch of the Q5 off-roader.

However, he hints that an A5 Sportsback and maybe an A4 Allroad were on the cards.

"But we have not decided," he says.

He says he is unaware specifically what the Germany headquarters has in store for Australia regarding new models.

Recently, Audi AG's product development chief, Michael Dick, revealed to European media that Audi's range of 22 vehicles will grow with another 18 "in our heads".

It is believed the A5 convertible will be unveiled in Europe before the end of the year with an A5 Sportback arriving next year, followed by the Q3.

The A5 Sportback will be designed to fill a gap between the A4 Avant and A6 Avant.

Performance derivatives are believed to be among the mix, with an R5 and RS5 mooted.

One thing is clear though, the huge investment local dealers have taken in new "Terminal" showrooms will pay off.

The first "Terminal" dealership cost $12 million and is located in Sydney's Five Dock.

It is the first of a design that will be adopted globally.

"Our dealers have invested heavily to be able to display and sell these new cars," he says.

"The Q5 is our next big launch."

Audi is expected to launch the car with a tough Trans-Continental drive through Outback Australia like the successful Q7 launch.

Speaking at the launch of the RS6 Avant, Buschmann, says although the focus on RS is to maintain exclusivity, he admitted that in the future, the company may have to broaden the RS thinking.

"If there is demand to broaden the RS portfolio then we will look at it," he says.

"The ethos of the RS is entirely up to our product strategists.

"But I imagine we would look at a top-down approach when we look at eligible RS cars, those that have the necessary DNA."