When a manufacturer has a range of vehicles with an obvious scale based on numbers or letters in its name, such as BMW and Mercedes with their respective “Series” and “Class” nomenclatures, the temptation to fill in any gaps is irresistible. And when talk turns to a range of SUVs in the current market, that temptation becomes an inevitability. So one of the most predictable moves imaginable for Audi would be to add a Q1 to its range of SUVs – which already includes the Q2, Q3, Q5 and Q7 – and now that appears to be in the works.
The Q1 is set to be the smallest model in Audi’s SUV lineup, and the UK’s Auto Express is reporting the new addition to the range will shortly receive the go ahead for production and is expected to go on sale before the end of 2020.
Audi’s rivals Mercedes and BMW are only relatively recent converts to producing small, premium models at affordable prices, while Audi has had the A1 supermini in production for around eight years now. The A1 is one of the manufacturer’s biggest-selling models in Europe with almost 100 000 units sold each year, so the only surprise about a Q1 SUV is that it’s not in the range already.
Speaking to Auto Express about the potential for a Q1, Audi’s sales and marketing boss Bram Schot said: “You cannot ignore the SUV trend; the question is how wide and how deep do we make the programme with SUVs? Depending on the business opportunities, we decide on the future product portfolio. But don’t be surprised if in two or three years you do see the car, as we try to react fast to markets.”
A new Q1 is unlikely to be based on the current A1 one though, as a new second-generation of that model is now already undergoing winter testing. The new A1 is expected to arrive towards the end of 2018, so it’s almost certain the Q1 will share a large amount of the VW Group’s MQB platform and other underpinnings of the new A1 when it finally comes to market. Reports that a Q1 was on the way have been circulating since as early as 2013 when Audi even went as far as publishing an artist’s impression. But now that the new-generation of the A1 is imminent, the Q1 should soon become a reality at last. – AFP Relaxnews