Audi is preparing a new baby SUV, dubbed Q2, for launch in late 2013. Revealed here in our artist's impression taken from the May 2012 issue of CAR Magazine, the Audi Q2 would be the smallest 4x4 yet from a premium car maker.
Preparations are underway in Ingolstadt to produce a full range of Q models, expanding the current three car line-up to seven vehicles by 2017. Click here for our earlier Q6 scoop.
Audi Q2: the background
To rationalise the range and make positioning a little easier to understand, Audi is reshuffling the Q range model names. Odd-numbered models (Q3, Q5 and Q7) will be geared towards modest off-road performance, while even-numbered models (Qs 2 through 8) will be softer designs intended for leafy lanes and family conveyance.
And what of the Q2? 'Audi will be the first premium brand to offer a crossover in the Polo segment,' says CAR’s insider. 'This is the world's first premium compact crossover coupe and we are preparing a stylish four-seater, taller than hatchback but by no means a pseudo-MPV. It'll be totally practical and yet a lot of fun to drive.'
The Q2 has more in common with the Polo than market segment; the crossover derives its genetics from the A1, which itself owes much to the Polo.
Engines bound for the Audi Q2
Expect a raft of A1 engines in the new 2013 Q, stretching from 1.2 to 2.0 litres in petrol and diesel format, thanks to the shared architecture.
Four-wheel-drive is as yet unconfirmed (most Q2s are likely to be front-wheel drive anyway) but Audi chief executive Rupert Stadler hints that it could come with a 21st-century twist. 'If the customers insist on four-wheel-drive, we have ways and means of meeting that request. Remember the Metroproject concept? It featured Quattro, but the rear wheels were propelled by an electric motor…'
For those who keep their Q2 front-wheel-drive, good news comes in the form of an ESP-based computerised diff lock (as on the Golf GTI) to brake the inside front wheel to reduce understeer and torque steer, while at the same time speeding up the turn-in action.
The Q2’s diminutive size, small engines and fuel-saving tech may see it sneak under the important 100g/km CO2 emissions marker, but for those who value speed more their exhaust, there are hints of a Q2 S sporting S-line trim and close to 200bhp from a turbocharged petrol engine.