Spy shots have recently surfaced of a camouflaged Audi Q1 in the wild. Audi’s upcoming micro-SUV will be developed to take on the Nissan Juke directly, as the Juke is the top dog in the segment, in terms of sales. The Audi Q1 will launch in 2016 and should excite all buyers in the segment.
Based on Volkswagen’s latest MQB scalable architecture, the Q1 will be built on the same platform used by the VW Polo and Audi A1. Not much can be discerned from the spy shots, though you can notice the same sort of grille and headlight styling used on the new Audi Q7 and A4. The 3D-style grille and LED headlights can be seen. Audi’s new familial styling is spreading.
The Q1 will be quite tiny, but that doesn’t mean that quality will be sacrificed. “With A1 we proved that premium doesn’t mean big – people want a quality premium car but not one that is large,” said Audi CEO, Rupert Stadler. “Q1 will do exactly the same – it could really exceed all of our expectations as this area of the market is massively strong at the moment and is only set to get even stronger.”
Audi will also be building a brand new facility in Ingolstadt to manufacture the Q1. An investment Stadler thinks will pay off, as the Q1 will round out Audi’s SUV range, which should account for 50 percent of overall sales. With BMW and Mercedes flooding the market with niche vehicles, Audi needs to get cracking to compete and the Q1 will be a good place to do so.
Engine options will likely range from the 1.0 liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine, shared with the VW UP! to a plug-in hybrid powertrain similar to the one found in the A3 eTron. There will also be a couple of small, four-cylinder diesel engines available and the possibility of an SQ1 with a 221 hp 2.0 liter TFSI engine. Engines will be mated to a 6-speed manual or possibly VW’s upcoming 10-speed DSG.
With its quirky fun looks, roomy interior space for the segment, thanks to VW’s MQB platform, punchy engines and estimated $25,000 starting price, the Audi Q1 could very well become the segment leader. The competition is currently dominated by the Nissan Juke, which is already starting to show its age and isn’t much of a competitor. So something more premium, like the Q1, from one of the world’s most respected automotive brands should take top trumps. The Q1 will most likely start out as a European market car first and will possibly make its way to the ‘States. But either way, expect a 2016 release date for European markets for the Q1 to take the crown from the Juke.