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Audi confirms 2016 Q1 compact SUV

Tue, 03 Dec 2013

Audi has confirmed it will begin production of a premium compact crossover Q1 model in 2016 to rival the MINI Countryman and Nissan Juke.

The Q1 will be Audi’s entry-level off-roader, sitting below the current Q3, Q5 and Q7 SUVs.

On Bing: see pictures of the Audi Q1Find out how much a used Audi Q3 costs on Auto Trader

In confirming the Q1, Audi chief executive officer Rupert Stadler highlighted, "the Q1 is a key component of our [Audi’s] growth strategy."

The German manufacturer’s A1 supermini has proved a success following its introduction back in 2010, and now the four-ringed firm wants a slice of the market in the compact off-road sector.

VW Group ‘MQB’ platform for 2016 Audi Q1

Audi is yet to outline technical details of the car, save for the fact that it has been "designed on the basis of the modular transverse engine concept."

This leads us to believe that the 2016 Audi Q1 will be underpinned by the VW Group’s ‘MQB’ platform, marking a departure from the current A1 hatchback’s VW Polo-based architecture.

This means there could be a new A1 replacement along around the same time, too, potentially also based on the group’s modular MQB chassis that already underpins all variants of the Audi A3.

What engines will power the 2016 Audi Q1?

As we said, technical details are still scarce, but expect a range of four-cylinder petrol and turbodiesel engines to power the 2016 Audi Q1, including more powerful and efficient versions of the current 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre TFSI turbo petrol engines.

A 1.6 TDI and a punchier 2.0 turbodiesel are likely to make an appearance, too, as will Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system on selected models.

It’s no secret Audi is exploring natural gas as a fuel, so don’t rule out a super-efficient Q1 g-tron at some point in the future, either, or a range-topping high-performance SQ1 variant.

Audi Q1 to continue model offensive

According to Audi, its Q1 compact SUV will continue the brand’s model offensive, leading the expansion of the Audi range from its current 49 models to more than 60 variants by 2020, when it hopes to be producing over 2 billion cars per year.

According to CEO Rupert Stadler:

"The Audi Q1 is part of our broad-based SUV strategy and will round off our Q series at the bottom end."

How much will the 2016 Audi Q1 cost and when does it go on sale?

The Q1 is a significant vehicle for Audi. The firm expects to produce around 230,000 SUVs in 2013, accounting for around 28% of its total car production this year.

A new entry-level small off-roader at an attractive price could attract a different group of customers to the brand looking for a small but premium 4x4.

Expect the Audi Q1 to be priced from around £17,000 when it goes on sale in the UK in 2016.

On Bing: see pictures of the Audi Q1Find out how much a used Audi Q3 costs on Auto TraderAudi Q3 review (2011 onwards)Read an Audi car review on MSN Cars

By Sean Carson, contributor, MSN Cars