Audi called 2016 "challenging," but it still soared through the year with an operating profit of about $3.3 billion. But the money isn't the most interesting part of Audi's annual report -- it's what the automaker has in store for the future.
Audi discussed several new vehicles that will be arriving in its lineup in the near future. In keeping with Volkswagen's promise to deliver dozens of EVs, Audi claims it will introduce three battery-electric vehicles by 2020.
It sounds like those models will be standalone vehicles, because Audi also said that it would "electrify additional model series" after it introduces the new EVs. Thus, one could reliably expect a mix of new electric cars and long-standing names with new electric variants.
A new flagship is on the way, too. The 2018 Audi A8 is likely to bow this year, adopting a new design language that will help set the stage for future Audis after that. Fans of autonomy will enjoy Audi's claim that the new A8 will be capable of Level 3 autonomy in traffic jams at speeds up to 37 mph.
SAE Level 3 is conditional automation, which means the system will execute the driving and monitor the environment, but a human is required as a safety precaution.
The A8 won't be the only new model arriving in the coming years. In 2018, we'll get our first look at the second-generation A7, a swoopy-coupe sedan that acts as a sportier version of the A6. Another 2018 debut to look forward to is the Q8, which Audi has teased in various concept forms over the last year.
Finally, in 2019, there will be another odd-numbered Audi crossover -- Q4. Audi calls it a "sporty compact utility vehicle," which means it will likely adopt more coupe-like design features as it slots between the Q3 and Q5. It's unclear if it will come to the US, but given our proclivity for expensive crossovers with limited purpose, it'll probably end up here.