Audi will increase its range of Q cars in 2016 with the launch of the Audi Q1, a baby crossover SUV. Our exclusive image shows how the expected performance version, the SQ1, could look.
If Audi is to deliver on its promise of offering a 60-model range by 2020, it needs a flurry of new niche models – and while the Q1 is confirmed to go on sale in 2016, the SQ1 seems certain to be on the German marque's radar too.
Rather than using a jacked-up A1 platform, the Q1 will be based around the smallest configuration of the VW Group’s scalable MQB base. As MQB will also underpin the new VW Polo (due in late 2015) and the second-generation A1 in 2016, the cars will share engine options.
That means a hot SQ1 could use the same powertrain as the current S1, namely a 221bhp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol engine and quattro all-wheel drive. However, MQB will allow the use of an S tronic twin-clutch automatic transmission – the current S1 is only available with a six-speed manual gearbox. Quattro 4x4 seems likely for both the SQ1 and the Q1 although the vast majority of Q1 sales will be front-wheel drive.
The Q1 will sit at the bottom of the SUV line-up and be aimed at Nissan Juke customers who want something more premium. Having filled almost every number from A1 to A8 in its car line-up, Audi is set to follow suit with its SUV range.
With a coupe-inspired roofline as well as chiseled flanks and body cladding for a more aggressive look. The Q1 interior should mirror that of current Audi models and make use of the MMI system and possibly introduce a touchscreen interface.
The new Audi Q1 is expected to be revealed at the Detroit Motor Show very soon, and be available in early 2016. Plus, the Q1 will be joined by the sporty Q2, based on the Crosslane Coupé revealed at the 2012 Paris show.
Expect the entry-level Q1 SE petrol to start at around £16,000.
Engines are expected to be carried over from the A1 supermini, meaning a range of petrol and diesel engines all with stop/start should be available from launch. An entry-level version with the same three-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol from the VW up! is also a strong possibility.
Diesel options are likely to include a new 1.4-litre TDI, plus a higher-powered 1.6 TDI. A six-speed manual will be standard, and VW’s new 10-speed DSG – tipped to debut on next year’s new Passat – is expected to be the automatic option.
The plug-in hybrid system currently found in the A3 e-tron could also be adopted for use the Q1 for a plug-in hybrid version with sub 25g/km CO2 emissions. The Q1 is likely to get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the newly developed 10-speed DSG gearbox an optional extra on conventionally powered models.
The Q2 will be 4,250mm long, 1,900mm wide and 1,500mm tall, with a 2,550mm wheelbase, but the Q1 is likely to be just four metres long, around 1,750mm wide and 1,570mm high. That makes it a little taller than the A1, but slightly smaller than the Juke.
We already know VW is lining-up a supermini-based SUV in the form of the Taigun, which will use the underpinnings from the up!, and is scheduled to arrive in 2016. BMW and Mercedes also have entry-level SUVs in the pipeline, likely to be called the X-City and X-Class respectively.
The Q1 continues the expansion of the Audi range, with the manufacturer claiming it hopes to have more than 60 models in its line up by 2020 – the range currently stands at 49. We have no indication of price for the new Q1 at this stage, but a starting price of around £16,000 would put it close to a mid-range Nissan Juke.