The Audi Q1 will enter production in 2016.

Audi has confirmed that work has begun on its new compact SUV, and that production on the model will start at its Ingolstadt plant in 2016. 

The Q1 will bolster Audi's Q-badged range of SUVs to six in total, with the model sitting alongside the Q3, RS Q3, Q5, SQ5 and Q7. Of those models, Audi says the Q5 is currently its best seller, with 194,430 units being delivered to customers up until October this year. The Q5 currently takes over half of the current Q-car production volume. 

Previewed in concept car form as the Crosslane Coupe at the 2012 Paris motor show, the new pricing leading SUV is planned to slot into the German car maker’s line-up beneath the existing Q3 at a price that is expected to see it directly rival the Mini Countryman.

Commenting on the decision to put the Q1 into production, Audi chairman Rupert Stadler said: “The Q1 is part of our broad based SUV strategy and a key component of our growth strategy.”

Stadler also confirmed the Q1 will be based on parent company Volkswagen's high flexible MQB platform architecture, as used by the latest Audi A3. “It is designed on the modular transverse engine concept,” he said.

Audi says producing the Q1 at its Ingolstadt plant has secured a future for the site. Ingolstadt also currently produces the A3, A3 Sportback, A4 and A5 models. Audi chairman Peter Mosch said: "It is a clear commitment to Ingolstadt as a production location".

SUVs currently make up around 28 per cent of Audi's portfolio, a figure the company expects to rise to more than 35 per cent by 2020. 

The firm has previously stated that it wants to increase its current portfolio of 49 models to more than 60 by 2020, as well as increasing capacity to more than two million units per year.

Darren Moss & Greg Kable