Determined to become the world’s largest luxury automaker, Audi will begin to offer market-specific special editions in markets around the world. Coming in the next few months will be high-priced editions of the Q7 sport-utility and R8 sportscar, both retailing for well into the six figure range.
The first of the German automaker’s special editions will be a turbo-diesel V-12-powered Q7 coated in two-tone phantom black and black velvet paint, only 555 of which will be made. Starting next month, wealthy Russian buyers will be able to pick one up at a price of €200,000 (around $285,000) -- more than twice the base price for a Q7 there.
Available in June is the R8 V-10 Pure Sport. Only 40 of the special R8s will be produced, each wearing a price tag of $136,000; it will be available in the United Arab Emirates and nowhere else. Audi is also considering a special edition R8 for the U.K. market as well.
This is not the first time Audi has tried a market-specific model: last year it sold the €54,000 Black-and-White edition TT in China. “[All 450 of] the cars were still travelling on a vessel to China when we sold the last one,” said sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer in an interview with Automotive News Europe. “"It was a test case convincing us that limited editions can be extremely successful."
Audi is hoping to make customer-ordered and limited run vehicles account for 20 percent of its sales by 2015; such vehicles were 5.4 percent of the carmaker’s sales in 2009, but have already risen to about 10 percent last year. Right now, buyers in all markets can choose non-standard colors, fabrics, and custom interiors through Audi’s “Exclusive” program.
What Audi model would you like to see get a special edition here in the U.S.? Let us know in the comments section below.
Source: Automotive News Europe (Subscription required)