Audi has a busy year ahead for new product launches, so it's fitting that the German luxury brand plans to make a big splash in the Motor City.
Audi has two global debuts planned for Detroit, one a concept car and the other a production car. Details are scant, but Audi may reveal the new Q8 flagship SUV at its Monday morning press conference ahead of its sales debut in 2019.
The new model, based on the Q7, has been described as a sportier derivative with coupe-like styling and will give Audi another entry in its hot-selling light-truck lineup.
After the show, the new product starts coming quickly.
A bevy of souped-up and sporty Audis will arrive in showrooms in the first half of 2017. The S4 arrives in the first quarter. The redesigned A5 and S5 coupes arrive in the second quarter, along with the high-performance Audi TT-RS, which gets more than 400 hp from a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder.
The RS3, which shares its 400-hp engine with the TT-RS, also goes on sale in the first half.
And don't forget about the springtime launch of Audi's most important model, the Q5 crossover. The second generation of Audi's top-selling nameplate is being assembled in Mexico, and assuming NAFTA is still in effect by March, expect Audi to enjoy some robust sales figures when Q5s start coming over the border. A sporty SQ5 launch is likely soon after.
Audi will also begin its large sedan overhaul next year, starting with the redesigned A8. The flagship, along with the A6 and A7, will herald a new era for Audi design led by styling chief Marc Lichte, as previewed through his series of Prologue concept cars. The A8 will be shown next year, though it may not arrive in the U.S. market until 2018.