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Is Audi Coming After the Mercedes G-Wagen With a New Off-Road SUV?

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Is Audi Planning to Take the Fight to the Mercedes G-Wagen? Here’s What We Know

A new electric SUV with an off-road focus could be coming from the four-ringed brand.


The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and the Land Rover Defender have long been two stalwarts in the luxury off-roader space. Now, reporting suggests that Audi could enter that segment soon with a rugged new all-electric SUV.

Here’s what we know so far about this rumored new Audi 4×4.

Audi has been leaning heavily into off-roading lately

We saw Audi’s “Halo” Warthog-like AI Trail concept a few years ago and the Activesphere concept last year. Audi has been racing an RS Q E-Tron rally raid vehicle at Dakar and launched a more off-road-focused Q8 E-Tron Edition Dakar. And, technically, Audi is Lamborghini’s parent company … and the Italian brand just launched the Huracan Sterrato off-road sports car. So there seems to be something in the air…


Audi has said it wants to build an off-roader

Audi’s head of design, Mark Lichte, described the potential for an Audi luxury off-roader to CAR magazine. “Nobody before at Audi has designed a rugged SUV,” Lichte said. “And I’m talking truly rugged. It’s a segment only capitalized on by our competitors, and it’s a car that we don’t have in our portfolio … yet.”

Lichte also noted there is “space for a third one” alongside the G-Wagen and Defender.

Audi’s off-road SUV should share a platform with the Scout vehicles

As expected, Scout won’t be the only VW brand using the new rugged SUV platform it is developing with Magna Steyr. Per Autocar, Audi will use that platform for its new rugged SUV, which could end up being built alongside the Scout vehicles. That platform may also make its way into a VW-branded pickup.

Audi’s SUV could look more like a station wagon than a G-Wagen

The rumors differ here a bit. Audi may not adhere rigidly to the boxy SUV formula; the Activesphere concept featured a sleek, car-like body. And Lichte told CAR that the new SUV “will not look like a copy of the Defender.”

Autocar’s reporting says the Activesphere will yield a production vehicle that could fall into the “SUVs that are actually wagons” camp. But that said, Autocar also believes the rugged SUV is a separate project. So, the rugged SUV could look more like a conventional SUV.

Audi’s rugged SUV could end up looking less boxy and more like an Audi wagon. Audi

What will Audi’s new rugged SUV be called?

EV sub-branding hasn’t been outstanding thus far. Mercedes is reportedly phasing out its EQ branding. But Audi reportedly isn’t ready to give up the E-Tron moniker for its EVs. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being something like the Audi Q E-Tron.

When will Audi’s new rugged SUV arrive?

Audi has not confirmed a timeline yet for this new SUV. The Scout vehicles are due to arrive in 2026. Autocar says that Audi’s SUV could debut shortly after that in 2027. CAR says the launch will be “around the same ballpark” as the Scout vehicles in 2026 — or potentially even sooner in 2025.


Audi Rugged Electric SUV

Reports have Audi challenging the Mercedes G-Wagen and Land Rover Defender with a new electric SUV coming in 2027.




Body Style


Arrival Date

2027 (estimated)


Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive paired with Scout’s rugged platform


Audi has not confirmed it is happening yet