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Geneva show: Audi Q2 headed Down Under

Tiny Q: The Audi Q2's dimensions place it in the same league as the likes of the Mini Countryman and the Mazda CX-3.

Audi to take on sub-compact SUV set with all-new Q2 crossover


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2 Mar 2016

AUDI has welcomed another addition to its ever-growing SUV line-up with the unveiling at the Geneva motor show of the Q2 crossover which, it has been confirmed, is headed to Australia in the first quarter of next year.

The latest Audi SUV will sit below the Q3 in the 'Q' line-up that also includes the mid-size Q5 and large Q7. It is built using the Volkswagen Group MQB platform that underpins everything from the VW Golf, Skoda Octavia and Audi TT.

Audi Australia senior product communications executive Shaun Cleary told GoAuto that the German car-maker was not concerned about the potential for Q2 sales to eat into the volume of the popular Q3.

“We see a real opportunity with the Q2 for growth in the small-SUV segment,” he said. “It assumes a different position to the Q3, as it does from all other Q models, and so appeals to a new type of customer. The arrival of the Q2 will complement the highly successful Audi Q-family range.”

The Q2 measures 4190mm long, 1790mm wide, 1510mm tall and has a 2600mm wheelbase. It is smaller by some margin in all areas than the Q3, although the wheelbase is only 3mm off its larger stablemate.

Direct rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz do not have an offering in the sub-compact SUV segment, but the Q2 has similar dimensions to the Mini Countryman and the more mainstream Mazda CX-3, that, in its priciest guise, tops out at $37,690 and could also be a competitor for the Audi.

The Q2 remains faithful to Audi's design aesthetic, particularly at the front where the Singleframe grille dominates, but has a chunkier look with big wheel arches and SUV styling flourishes such as black plastic touches running around the lower part of the crossover.

It has a low roof, a high shoulder line and features a sharply cut-off tail end, a roof spoiler and diffuser with an under-body protection look, while the unique C-pillar treatment is completed in a contrasting colour to the body paint.

Audi says its five-seat Q2 has wide-opening doors and a sporty, low driving position that still provides the visibility of an SUV. Luggage space is 405 litres (1050L with the rear seats folded) which easily exceeds the CX-3 (264L) and the Countryman (350L).

Audi's 12.3-inch virtual cockpit – already offered in the TT, Q7 and A4 – is available, as is a head-up display, and the Q2 also features an MMI screen atop the centre stack with access to connect app, infotainment features, media streaming with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as various versions of its navigation system.

It will be offered with Audi's 'pre-sense front' collision avoidance system as standard. This detects crossing pedestrians or other vehicles and applies the brakes if required, while optional active safety gear includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go and traffic jam assist, park assist, lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic assist.

In Europe, the Q2 will be offered with six turbo powertrains – three TFSI petrol and three TDI diesel – starting with a tiny 1.0-litre three-cylinder TFSI petrol unit producing 86kW, as well as a 110kW 1.4-litre unit with cylinder on demand technology and a flagship 140kW 2.0 TFSI.

Audi says it has developed a new combustion process for the 2.0 TFSI that ensures “the fuel economy benefits of a downsizing engine in part-load operation, while offering the benefits of an engine with large displacement at higher loads”.

The diesel line-up includes an 85kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit, and a 2.0-litre TDI in two states of tune – 110kW and 140kW.

Audi has not provided performance or fuel consumption figures for the Q2.

The Australian line-up is unclear at this stage, with Mr Cleary saying that all engines are being considered.

A six-speed manual and a newly developed seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission are available, depending on the engine choice, while the quattro all-wheel drive system is offered as standard on the top TDI and TFSI variants, and is optional when paired with the mid-range engines.

A 'progressive' steering system that varies the steering ratio depending on the input is standard on all variants, while the optional Audi drive select handling system offers four driving modes – auto, comfort, dynamic and efficiency – and an individual mode is added if buyers opt for the MMI radio.

Audi says the Q2 is “well-suited” to off-road conditions with a 200mm ground clearance and an ESC Offroad mode.

The availability of the S line sport package and various add-on parts will allow buyers to customise their Q2. Colours such as yellow, orange and red can be chosen for the interior trim and parts of the seats.

Introducing the Q2 at the Geneva show, Audi AG chairman Rupert Stadler was clear about the target market for the funky new crossover.

“We have specifically developed the Audi Q2 for young customers,” he said. “Its looks distinguish it as a model with attitude. The compact SUV blends the technical expertise of our brand with high everyday utility and emotional character.”

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