AUBURN HILLS, MI - Audi has chosen to delay the upcoming launch of its newest SUV, the small crossover Q5, and the hybrid and diesel variants of the Q7 large crossover for marketing reasons, according to a recent Automotive News report.

Reportedly, the German automaker will release the vehicles in early 2009 rather than late 2008 to avoid getting glossed over in light of traditional year-end sales events. Additionally, by releasing the SUVs in 2009, they will be able to be sold as 2010 model-year vehicles.

Audi has not yet debuted its compact Q5 crossover and very little is currently known about it, except that it is designed to do battle with BMW's X3 and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz GLK small sport 'ute. Audi may debut the Q5 at the Detroit Auto Show prior to its public launch. The Q7 hybrid will use a 3.6L V-6 en-gine producing roughly 280 horsepower, teamed with an electric motor. The end result is an approximate 23-percent savings in fuel consumption, according to reports.

The turbodiesel Q7 variant will be 3.0-L in displacement - enough for a reported 230 horses and 400 lb.-ft. of torque. According to Audi, the same diesel engine is capable of being used in the Q5 as well as the A4, A6, and A8. It is a good bet the engine may become an option in at least some of those models for the U.S.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials