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Audi Planning $285,000 Q7 Special Edition

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.”

Rival BMW has been producing country-specific models for a number of years. Recent examples include the M3 Frozen Grey Coupe for the U.S. market and the M3 Matte Edition in China.

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)

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Buying Guide
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2011 Audi Q7

2011 Audi Q7

MSRP $46,250 3.0T Premium quattro

EPA MPG:

16 City / 22 Hwy

Cargo (Std/Max):

NA / 72.5 cu. ft.

Seating:

7/7