► Audi Q Junior: the new baby SUV
► New name posed after Q rights glitch
► Expect new A1-based 4x4 by 2019
Audi is considering reviving the Junior name for its new smallest supermini soft-roader due by the end of the decade. Ingolstadt is investigating new naming conventions after its spat with Fiat Chrysler Automobile over the disputed Q2 and Q4 badges.
By rights, Audi’s next crossover coming in 2016 should be called Q2, but that name is owned by Alfa Romeo. Hence the company is looking at new alternatives for its version of the upcoming Polo SUV.
Why would Audi call a baby SUV the Junior?
Anyone remember the DKW Junior? The last of the three-cylinder bonsai saloons rolled off the line in 1963, five years before the brand bit the dust and was absorbed by Audi. Now the name could be redeployed for its smallest SUV.
Considering the shortage of currently available Q-based model designations, the Junior name may be revived in 2019 or 2020 according to CAR’s sources. In an ideal world, this entry-level A1-based SUV would be badged Q1, the Q1 would wear the Q2 moniker, and the TTQ would come to market as Q4.
But since the naming rights lie in Italy, Audi must find suitable substitutes. ‘We still have a bit of time on our hands,’ says a senior manager from Ingolstadt. ‘But in the end, it’s the product that matters, not the label stuck on it. We believe that small crossovers are the next big thing, so we want to tap this market before our rivals do.’
The background to Audi’s new smaller SUV
Audi has access to the cheaper and more compact MQB-A0 components set shared by Polo/Fabia/Ibiza and A1 - this is the package that’ll spawn the new Junior model, as well as planned baby SUVs from VW and Seat.
Early programme details suggest Audi’s junior mud-plugger will be differentiated from the Q1 and Q3 by being a sporty two-door coupe-crossover, priced at below €20,000 (£15,000) in today’s money. We don't yet have any renderings of the Q Junior (the above is a detail shot of the Q3).
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