Audi's design boss Marc Lichte is keen on developing a luxury coupé to rival the upcoming BMW 8-series, but he does not believe that market demand is currently strong enough to justify such a model.
When asked about Audi’s lack of presence in the segment, Lichte said: “I love the shape of a two-door coupé, but it is also true that the [sales] volumes [for them] are much lower than for four-doors. In the future, who knows? We have many ideas in this direction.”
The luxury coupés sector has enjoyed a resurgence with the forthcoming 8-series which will take on the Mercedes-Benz S-class Coupe, as well as the new Polestar 1 – the first model from Volvo’s new performance arm.
In the recent years, Audi has shifted its attention away from two-doors, but the Prologue concept car revealed at the Los Angeles motor show in 2014, hinted at how a range-topping coupé from Ingolstadt might look.
The Prologue, one of Lichte’s first designs for the company, was ostensibly a car to preview Audi’s then-new design language, but could yet be the inspiration for the oft-mooted A9 two-door flagship.
The Prologue concept was pitched as a potential sister car to the current A8, which was still in development at the time. At 5,100mm in length, 1,950mm in width and 1,390mm in height, the show car is 35mm shorter, 1mm narrower and 70mm lower than the A8.
Despite the growing number of luxury coupé offerings from rival manufacturers, a two-door is unlikely to arrive before 2019, because Audi’s current model schedule has four new launches lined up.
About the coupé's launch, Lichte said: “First we must launch the A6, then we have the Q8 next year, A1 and Q3. We won’t do anything before this. It’s step by step.”