Audi will announce plans for a new entry-level SUV at the Paris motor show with a Wolfgang Egger-penned concept that is set for production as the Q2.
Earmarked for launch in 2015, the junior SUV will sit below the Q3 and compete head on with the Mini Countryman, complete with raised seating, a high-quality interior, svelte exterior styling and a range of four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines.
The Q2 is one of four additions to Audi’s current three-strong line-up of SUV models (see right). It is based on the Volkswagen Group’s new transverse-engine MQB platform, which has just launched under the third-generation A3 and will also underpin a new Q3 in 2017.
The Q2 is understood to sit on a unique wheelbase of around 2.5m, which slots it between the 2470mm A1 and 2605mm A3. Also unique are the track widths, which are described as being close to the 1570mm front and 1575mm rear measurements of the Q3. Overall, the Q2 is said to measure around 4150mm in length, or some 200mm longer than the A1.
Rumours in Germany suggest the Q2 might share its specific platform dimensions with the upcoming A2 hatch to improve economies of scale. There are also suggestions that the second-generation Skoda Yeti, due out in 2015, might use the same underpinnings.
The Q2’s design is said to be influenced by the 2010 Quattro concept and VW’s more recent CrossCoupé study. “There is a particularly strong influence in terms of detailing from the Quattro concept around the front and rear ends,” a source revealed to Autocar.
Audi is expected to preview the Q2 at the Paris show in September with a three-door body to lend the design a sporting flavour — something it also did with the original A1 concept. However, the definitive production model, scheduled to be unveiled at the 2015 Frankfurt show, is expected to feature a more practical five-door body, complete with an angled tailgate. A final decision on the Q2’s layout is expected to be taken by the end of this year.
Audi has lined up a range of four-cylinder engines for the Q2. Nothing is official at this stage, but insiders say the business case for the new SUV calls for two petrol engines and three diesels. Petrol options will consist of 120bhp and 170bhp versions of the 1.4-litre EA211, with cylinder deactivation on the lower-powered unit, while the diesels will include an upcoming 110bhp variant of the 1.6-litre EA827 along with 150bhp and 180bhp versions of the 2.0-litre EA288 revealed earlier this year.
In keeping with the trend set by other Q models, Audi is also planning a performance-orientated Q2 S with a 225bhp version of the 2.0-litre turbo EA888 engine — the same unit destined for the next-generation Golf GTI.
All engines will come with a six-speed manual gearbox, with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox on the options list.
Front and four-wheel drive transmissions are expected to be offered, with the quattro option employing a Haldex-style multi-plate clutch.
Fuel-saving features such as stop-start, brake energy recuperation and an optimal shift point indicator will be standard across the line-up in a move that, sources suggest, will provide the Q2 1.6 TDI with a combined economy figure of around 70mpg.
Sales are a long way off, but the entry-level Q2 1.4 TFSI model could start from £21,000, about £5000 below the cheapest Q3.