Audi Q1 mini-SUV steps out – dressed as a Tiguan

Published: 12 May 2015

Tiguan-based Q1 mule spotted
Narrower track gives it away
►Audi Q1 crossover due in 2016

We’ve known about the existence of the Audi Q1 for quite some time: a new, more compact entry point to Audi’s popular Q-badged off-roader series is on the way in 2016. With testing well underway, here’s a first view of a prototype racking up miles on the road.

Erm. That’s not an Audi

At first glance it’s a VW Tiguan, but take a closer look and you’ll see not everything is as it seems.

The track is narrower than it should be – the Tiguan’s bodywork hangs over the sides of the (too small) wheels. The wheelbase is shorter, too. Somewhat more obviously, it’s riding on a set of Audi wheels and the numberplates beginning with ‘IN-’ are another Audi giveaway.

The evidence suggests that this is in fact a Tiguan-based test mule for the upcoming Q1. The production car will be based on a shortened version of the Audi Q3’s platform – itself very closely related to the Tiguan. Expect plenty of similarities with the Q3 and Tiguan in terms of running gear, chassis and electronics, too.

What can we expect from the finished Audi Q1?

Audi would actually like to call it the Q2, to leave room for an even smaller crossover, but that nameplate’s currently in the possession of Fiat-Chrysler.

Legal wrangling notwithstanding, we can expect it to be called the Q1 and to occupy a similar footprint dimensionally to the Audi A3. Prices are likely to start from around €25,000 (approx. £18,000) in Europe. To keep costs manageable, it will be powered by a range of conventional, proven four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.

There’ll even be a fast SQ1 model, which could be joined by a hotter-still RSQ1 variant with 310bhp of Audi TTS-derived power.

Read more about the 2016 Audi Q1 in the links below.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, automotive design graduate, Radical champ

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