Audi’s Q range of vehicles is set to grow even bigger in 2016, with the launch of the new Audi Q1 planned for early on in the year. Said to be aimed at Nissan Juke owners who are looking for a more premium option, the Q1 is a baby crossover SUV which will be the entry level model in the manufacturer’s new SUV range.
Compact SUVs and crossovers have risen in popularity over the last 3-5 years, with the first real UK success story being the Nissan Qashqai. As other manufacturer’s saw the Qashqai’s sales figures, they developed crossovers of their own – with manufacturer’s such as Hyundai, BMW, Kia and, of course, Audi deciding to enter this lucrative market.
It is unlikely that the growth of the crossover is performance-related, as while these vehicles generally offer more power and torque, they do not offer enough for offroad driving. Instead, it is likely that their style – the visual features that make them look more like offroad vehicles than bulky family cars – is the main element that has contributed to their continuing popularity.
Style in certainly an area in which the Audi Q1 is likely to hold a great deal of appeal: while it will essentially be a Q3 with a shorter wheelbase, its detailing will give it a bold and aggressive look which is likely to better compete with the likes of the Range Rover Evoque. Official images from Audi show a bold, three-dimensional grille, along with a C-pillar that has been squared off, sideglass with no pillars, a windscreen that is raked more steeply than the Q3 and a lower ride than its predecessor too.
The footprint of the new Q1 will be shared with that of the A3, while much of the basic architecture will be shared with the Tiguan and the Q3. The new Q1 will be offered with a range of engines and with a starting price of around £19,700, putting it between the A3 Sportback and the Q3.
Audi’s new SQ1 could use the same engine as the current Audi S1, which sports a 221bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine and the legendary quattro 4-wheel drive system. The current S1 is only available with the six-speed manual drivetrain. The Quattro 4×4 system seems to be a must for both the SQ1 and the Q1