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Audi Q1 (2016) tiny SUV confirmed by Audi

Mon, 02 Dec 2013

By Damion Smy

First Official Pictures

02 December 2013 15:50

The Audi Q1 has been confirmed by the German car maker as part of its expansion to a 60-model line-up by 2020 – including a glut of which will be Q-badged SUVs. The letter Q, of course, is the designation for the brand’s SUV line-up, which currently kicks-off with the Audi A3-based Q3.

While popular, the Q3 has never had the style image and leadership Audi has desired – like the RangeRover Evoque has managed – and is looking to make amends with its newest niche filler.

That’s an easy one: the Q1 is the entry-level SUV, with the naming following indicating that this is the entry-level SUV. Using the A1 as a guide, then, it should be offered in both front-wheel and Quattro-drivetrains. It also means that there will be a range of diesel and petrol engines on offer, potentially kicking of with the 1.4-litre four-cylinder featuring cylinder deactivation as per the A1, joined by a 1.6-litre diesel.

Audi hasn’t confirmed which platform the Q1 will use, but the it’s highly likely that it will be use the MQB underpinnings – the same, highly flexible platform as used by the A3 – making it ripe for electrification and hybridisation. Audi could easily shoehorn in the 1.5-litre three-pot engine mated to an electric motor, as seen in the Crosslane concept shown at the 2012 Paris Motor Show.

It’s a great starting point – as is the image here, provided by Audi. Of course, the Q1 will have five doors, while the Crosslane showed three. Head of design, Wolfgang Egger, has pointed to Audi’s single-frame grille (a term the brand has copyrighted) as becoming more ‘three-dimensional’ for a more aggressive, clear identity. ‘The Q face has three horizontal elements, making it look wider and bolder,’ says Egger, referring to the grille, Audi four rings and lateral lower brake ducts.

Detailing, too, will play its part in the key brand identifiers – LEDs will be a given in higher-spec Q1s – while it will ride lower than the Q3 and have a more steeply raked front windscreen, too. The pillarless sideglass, like the Crosslane concept, leads to a squared-off C-pillar that’s a clear Audi design signature.

You’ll have to wait until early 2016 to get your hands on a Q1, when production begins in Ingolstadt, Germany. It will be followed bookend of the Q line-up, which will also see a Q4, Q6 and Q8 join the current range of Q3, Q5 and Q7 SUVs. 



By Damion Smy