Audi and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have done a deal to swap badges. “Each found something we needed,” said Audi CEO Rupert Stadler (above).
Audi gets the Q2 and Q4 names, allowing it to lock up the Q1 to Q9 badges for its growing SUV/crossover family.
FCA – it owns Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Maserati – gets two trademarks from Audi parent the Volkswagen Group. FCA is not saying which, although it has been suggested they could be ‘Bora’ and ‘Lupo’.
Bora was once used by Maserati in the 1970s before the then-struggling Italian couldn’t afford to renew it. VW picked it up and used it on a Golf-based sedan. It is the name of a wind in the Adriatic Sea.
Lupo was the name of the smallest VW hatchback, smaller than the Polo, built between 1998-2005. The name hasn’t been used since. Lupo is Latin for ‘wolf’.
Stadler told reporters at the Detroit show that Audi tried to get the Q2 and Q4 badges years ago. “It was not something they were willing to sell,” he said.
“They said ‘No, never,’ but there is never ‘never’ in business. This year I went back to them with a proposal and we talked and there were some negotiations and then we agreed to it.”
FCA had retained Q2 to cover its limited-slip differential technology. The Q4 badge denotes all-wheel drive and was last used on the Maserati Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans.
The five-door Audi Q2 crossover is expected to land in New Zealand early next year along with the next-generation Q5. Both will go public at this year’s Paris motor show.
The Q4 will be a coupe-like version of the next Q3, the Q8 a coupe-like version of the Q7. The Q6 is likely to be a battery-electric SUV, the hero car in Audi’s line-up of alternative drive vehicles. Q1 will be the baby crossover, based on the architecture of the next A1 hatchback.