Yesterday, Audi announced that it would officially be building a baby SUV – the Q1 – to expand its lineup. It’s exciting any time Audi has a brand new model, but there are quite a few unique things about the Q1 we’re looking forward to:
Making the Most of MBQ
Volkswagen’s new MBQ platform is Audi and Volkswagen’s big step into modular vehicle construction. It’s more than just a platform car. It’s a means of standardization that really hasn’t existed to this point. Economy engine? Performance engine? Diesel? LPG? It’s all the same engine placement, saving a ton of money in the process.
Taking on the World’s Micro SUVs
The MINI Countryman and the Land Rover Evoque are both really good at what they do, but there’s loads of room in the premium small SUV market for something new and unique. Audi won’t try and convince anybody that this is some kind of rugged off-roader, possibly making the Q1 the choice for on-road, all-weather performance.
What Comes Next
The Q1 is the first in a range of vehicles set to launch from Ingolstadt. By 2020, Audi plans to have 60 models in its lineup, versus just 49 today. Get ready for a torrent of new product at Audi dealers in the next few years.
Taking Q Back
For some inexplicable reason, the letter Q is now what Z or M was a few years ago. Now that Infiniti has renamed almost its entire product line “Q-something,” it’s time for Audi to take it back. You don’t get much better than Q1.
Is it the Crosslane?
There’s no official word on what the Q1 is going to look like yet, but the prevailing wisdom is that it might have an appearance cribbed from the Audi Crosslane Coupe, which Audi showed at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. It’s a great looking small SUV that might open the door – pardon the pun – for either a three or a five-door configuration of the Q1.
Hope for a Diesel
If any manufacturer has put a stake in the ground with diesel technology, it’s Audi. It’s been on a one-brand diesel marketing assault, not just in Europe, but right here in the USA. Audi’s trying to convince all of us hillbillies that diesel doesn’t equal the sooty black rear bumpers of the 1970s.
Audi has been building great products for decades, but for a lot of folks, the price of entry is just out of reach. The A3 indicated the desire to build a car that would appeal to a wider range of consumers, but the Q1 signifies that Audi means business. With the expansion of the lineup, the Q1 shows that Audi can reach a goal of 2 million cars a year.
There was a time in Audi’s past when “new SUV” only meant the behemoth Q7, which seemed oddly out of place in a lineup of cars that were generally synonymous with “efficiency.” The Q1 seems much more in line with the company’s commitment to eventually achieving CO2-neutral mobility.
This bullet point is brought to you by the letters “S” and “RS.” There’s no official word on what engines will be in place when the Q1 arrives, but if we were betting, we’d put money on something like the 1.4-liter TSFI gasoline engine, along with a 1.6-liter TDI. But give it a few years, and think what an RSQ3 might look like with a MINI Countryman permanently in the rear view mirror.
Not a Juke
For some inexplicable reason, the Nissan Juke is popular, and it has been so for a number of years now. It’s time for someone to wipe that smug – is that smug? – look off the Juke’s face, and there’s no better brand to do it than Audi.