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Audi to build Q1 baby SUV: report

Q forming: Audi has indicated it may bolster its SUV range in the future with a baby Q1 that would share its underpinnings with the next-generation A1 hatch.

New entry-level Q1 crossover could be added to Audi SUV range by 2020

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Audi logo19 Mar 2018

AUDI is set to expand its SUV range to include an entry-level Q1 crossover in a bid to accommodate the ever-increasing consumer thirst for SUVs, according to British publication Auto Express.

The new Q1 is expected to get the green light for production by around 2020 and will share its underpinnings with the next-generation A1 light hatch.

Speaking to Auto Express, Audi board of management member for sales and marketing Bram Schot said that market trends showed that a sub-Q2 SUV could work for the car-maker.

“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,” he said.

Audi Australia corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary said that Audi’s success in the SUV market meant the Q1 would be a welcome addition to the local line-up.

“Audi has a very successful track record when is comes to our family of Q models, and so we’d be delighted to consider any opportunity to further expand our line-up,” he said.

The brand’s commitment to SUVs is evidenced by the e-tron prototype revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier in the month, Audi’s first all-electric model that will go on sale in Australia in 2019.

Three out of the brand’s last five new model lines to launch Down Under have also been SUVs, with the Q5, Q3 and Q2 all joining the local market since 2009.

The Q5, Q3 and Q7 are now Audi’s second, third and fourth-most popular models in the German brand’s stable behind the A3 small car, recording 3364, 2843 and 2664 sales, respectively in 2017.

Meanwhile, the Q2 crossover, which was released last February, found 1999 homes in 2017, enough for sixth position behind the aforementioned models and the fifth-placed A4 mid-sizer with 2177.

SUV sales currently make up about half of overall Audi sales volume, not counting the A4 and A6 Allroad wagons. In 2017 SUVs made up 49 per cent of Audi sales, while in the first two months of 2018 that number has jumped to 55 per cent.

A range-topping Q8 upper large SUV is also expected to materialise in coming years following a couple of related concepts.

If the Q1 makes it into production, it can be expected to be built on Volkswagen Group’s MQB architecture, which underpins the just-released Volkswagen Polo and upcoming T-Roc small SUV.

Design cues and technology are expected to be shared with the next-gen A1, as will powertrains.

The current A1 uses a mix of petrol engines ranging from 1.0- to 2.0-litres in size, while the Q2 employs a 1.4-litre petrol unit as well as a 2.0-litre in both diesel and petrol flavours.

Audi’s recent trend of introducing mild-hybrid powertrains on new models may also carry over to the Q1 if it makes it to production.

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