A distributed model predictive control（DMPC）based two-subsystem approach is proposed in this paper to resolve the coupled surge velocity and depth control problem of multiple Autonomous Underwater Vehicles （AUVs）. For the motion coordination of multiple AUVs，each AUV shares information with its neighbors to solve lo? cal predictive optimization problems under the framework of DMPC. For the motion coordination of the surge velocity and depth control subsystems of a single AUV，the predicted surge velocity from the surge velocity control subsystem is approximately lent to the depth control subsystem，of which the predicted pitch angular velocity is sent back to de? couple the dynamics and solve the predictive optimization problem. The simulation results show that compared with the coupling model approach，the proposed two-subsystem approach sacrifices some rate of convergence in depth but reduces the calculation time by 73.3%.