FRANKFURT - Volkswagen and Audi each plan to offer a sport-utility early in the next decade. Porsche may use the Volkswagen vehicle for its own off-roader.
Volkswagen AG did not announce marketing plans for the VW and Audi models, and did not say if they will be sold in North America, the world's largest market for sport-utilities.
VW's sport-utility is expected to be based on the Golf and compete in a growing class of small 4x4s led by the Toyota RAV4.
The off-roader will be Volkswagen's second try in the segment after its unsuccessful launch of the 4x4 Golf Country in the 1980s. The Country was a Golf derivative, with increased ground clearance and 4x4 trim. The new sport-utility would have a distinct exterior design.
VW spokesman Christof Alder said details of the sport-utility project are not decided. But, like the RAV4, it is expected to be targeted at urban drivers, and to offer a high level of ride comfort.
Alder confirmed that VW is in talks with Porsche about sharing the platform.
Porsche wants to add a sport-utility. It discussed the venture with the Big 3 in the United States, and it nearly had a deal with Daimler-Benz to base a sport-utility on the U.S.-built Mercedes M class.
Since then Porsche has been talking to other potential partners, and has considered developing one for itself.
Audi officials will make the larger Audi A6 Avant the basis of a sport-utility. The four-wheel-drive A6 Avant will debut at the Bologna auto show in December. Timing for the new sport-utility is uncertain.