Audi has made no secret about wanting to expand its SUV line-up dramatically, but at Detroit Motor Show 2014 we’ve learned how it plans to do it.

As well as a new Q1 in 2016, Audi plans to introduce more seven seaters – including a seven-seater version of the Q5 and a larger model to sit above the new Q7 (pictured in our artists illustration).

“Our Q range has lots of potential. There is a growing market for small SUVs, hence the Q1, and there is definitely space between the Q3 and Q5, and the Q5 and Q7, as well as above the Q7,” Dr Ulrich Hackenber, Audi Technical chief told us.

While the Q4 is likely to be a sportier-looking version of the Q3, the Q6 won’t simply be a sportier version of the Q5, it will actually be more practical. “Sporty is one direction we can go in, but we also want to improve the number of seats,” Hackenberg explained.

“If a car is sporty you attract one type of customer, but if it’s sporty and more practical it has a much wider appeal. MPVs are less fashionable, but if you present it as an SUV it will be more popular.”

Another, even bigger, seven-seater model to sit above the Q7 in the line up, likely to be called Q8, is also under development. Based on the same modular platform as the new Bentley SUV, Lamborghini Urus and new Porsche Cayenne, it will be positioned at a much higher-price point to the Q7, with top-spec model likely to approach the £100,000 mark.

Hackenberg confirmed that the Q1 was his “first priority,” so don’t expect to see a Q4, Q6 or Q8 for another three years at least.

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Audi's Q Lineup of SUVs Expanding To Include 7-Seat Q5 and Range-Topping Q8

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