In a move sure to offend Audi purists everywhere, the luxury car maker no longer believes big is beautiful and is latching onto the trend of ever-smaller four-wheel crossovers, first pioneered by Mini and Fiat, releasing the Audi Q1 in 2016.
Following the release of the petite Audi Q3 in 2013, the German car maker announced it would downsize even further in future, confirming in a press release that it will roll out its smallest model yet, the Audi Q1, next year. Given that the next model up, the Audi Q3, is only 172.6 inches long, it appears sensible to assume the so-called ‘baby’ SUV will be even smaller, at around 160 inches long, similar to the Audi A1 Sportback.
Audi is hoping to lead this SUV baby boom by getting ahead of its German rivals, Mercedes and BMW, who currently have no public plans to shrink their crossovers to less than their respective GLA-Class and X1.
So far, Audi haven’t released many details about the car’s finish, so there are no reliable Audi Q1 images out yet, but Topspeed has helpfully mocked up what it believes the new model will look like, including regular Audi features (such as a single frame grille, familiar lighting and the signature Audi shape). It can be confirmed that the Q1’s chassis, running gear, electronics and main architecture will resemble that of the Tiguan and the Q3.
While teeny SUV-crossovers are becoming something of a trend in environmentally-conscious Europe, where 70,000 units of the Q1 are projected to be produced each year, whether such a small car wouls take off in America should their plans include a stateside release, is yet to be seen. The new Audi Q1 is unlikely to be launched over the pond until 2018, if ever.
Expected to retail in the UK at around £20,000, the Audi Q1 will form a bulwark of the company’s SUV-strategy, according to Audi AG management board chair Rupert Stadler, who said it will “round off our Q series at the bottom end” and “make a strong contribution to the company’s ongoing growth and will strengthen its international competitiveness”
Q1 images where supplied to AudiBlog by topspeed.com – Thanks Guys
Q1 Caught out and about hiding under a VW tiguan
Hang on, that’s just a Volkswagen Tiguan, isn’t it? Well, that’s what the Group would like you to believe, but European spy photographers weren’t fooled.
In fact, they could double up as detectives, for they point out the narrower track, slightly shorter wheelbase, Audi wheels and IN number plates (Ingolstadt, the home of Audi), inferring that the vehicle you see here is a mule for the upcoming Audi Q1.
The Audi Q1 is set to begin production in Ingolstadt next year. The sub-Q3 five-door SUV, based on the VW Golf and Audi A3‘s modular MQB platform, will fight the likes of the MINI Countryman. The grapevine suggests that front- and quattro all-wheel drive will be offered, while some engines will be shared with thePolo-based A1. There could also be a performance SQ1 later on.