A predictive illustration of what Audi's Q1 small crossover will look like from our artist in Germany. Positioned slightly below the Q3, Audi’s Q1 stands to be the smallest premium crossover on the market. Our illustration expands on the sketch released when Audi announced the Q1 would enter production ; the final design will draw from the Crosslane Coupe concept that debuted at last year’s Paris auto show. This potentially includes the show car’s three-door body shape, although it will launch as a five-door only. The interior will be contemporary and upscale, especially considering its size, and it’s possible that instrumentation will be entirely digital.
The Audi Q1 is designed to give Audi a lead in the fast-growing small-crossover segment: "It is part of a broad Q-model strategy," says CEO Rupert Stadler. Perhaps of more significance than the expansion of the Q brand is what the Q1’s design means for the future of Q models. The Crosslane Coupé’s design was supposed to singal a new design direction for Audi’s SUVs, and much of its look can be seen in the Q1.
Platform: The Audi Q1 is yet another model that will make use of the Volkswagen Group's lightweight
MQB modular-transversal architecture. There is a vast corporate parts bin full of advanced electronics at Audi’s disposal for this project, and while the Q1 will offer a lot of technology, it won't pack everything Ingolstadt has to offer; a buffer in equipment needs to be maintained between it and the Q3.
Powertrains: The backbone of the Q1's powertrain lineup will be a turbocharged 1.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. It will be supplemented by an available 1.4-liter TDI turbo-diesel. An SQ1 will follow, powered by a 230-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four, and a plug-in hybrid is expected, too, using a 1.2-liter four-banger as its foundation. If the Q1 were to make it stateside, the gasoline- and diesel-burning 1.4s would be the only powertrains available. Front-wheel drive will be standard, but Quattro all-wheel drive will be an option.
Competition: Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-class.
Estimated Arrival and Price: The 2016 Audi Q1 is expected to be revealed in the fall of 2015 before a market launch the following year. If it does come to the U.S., which doesn’t appear to be a strong possibility, expect a base price of roughly $25,000.