The all-new Audi Q2 will be available in three trim levels when it goes on sale in the UK this August, with the lowest priced model starting from £22,230.
However, that entry-level car - a Q2 SE with a 1.0-litre TFSI engine that produces 113bhp and features cylinder-on-demand technology - won't be available to order until later in the year, meaning the cheapest model available to order in August will be a Q2 Sport with a 148bhp 1.4 TFSI engine, with a starting price of £23,930.
The other engine available in August will be the 114bhp 1.6-litre TDI, which starts at £22,480 in SE spec.
Later this year the entry 114bhp 1.0-litre three-cylinder TFSI borrowed from the A1 will arrive; while economy figures are yet to be revealed we expect it to offer close to 50mpg combined. The Q2 range will also get a 148bhp 2.0-litre TDI engine in 2016.
The most potent petrol, a 2.0-litre TFSI that produces 187bhp is due in 2017, according to the manufacturer.
As standard, the new car comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, but an S tronic dual-clutch gearbox is offered as an option. The 2.0-litre petrol and diesel models come exclusively with this transmission, which Audi says uses a new type of low-friction oil supply.
Drive is sent to the front wheels as standard on most models, but buyers can opt for quattro four-wheel-drive or get it as standard if they choose one of the range-topping 2.0-litre engines. The system uses Haldex-clutch technology to enable torque vectoring and decoupling.
Three trim levels
Audi says entry-level SE trim Q2s will get 16in alloys, a 7.0in infotainment system and variable damper settings.
Mid-range Sport models will start at £21,780 and come with 17in alloys and Ice Silver C-pillar side blades, while range-topping S Line Q2s will start at £26,180 and get 18in alloys, LED headlights and cloth and leather upholstery, plus a no-cost option to upgrade to sports suspension.
The rugged looking crossover is smaller than an A3 Sportback and weighs just 1205kg. It will eventually come with a choice of six drivetrains and optional quattro four-wheel drive.
Audi says the new model has been built to cater for the demands of young, urban drivers, and hopes it will draw new buyers to the brand. As such, it gets a distinctive exterior that introduces several new design traits.
At the front there’s a new single-frame grille with polygon details, and the headlights are slightly more squared off than those of recent Audi models. Further back there’s an R8-style blade on the C-pillar, and the tail-lights premiere a new design with Audi’s latest swooping indicators.
The car’s overall shape is distinctive in Audi’s line-up, largely due to its taut proportions, but also thanks to a hunched shoulder-line that features a unique sliced section. Designers say this polygon slice helps to give the jacked-up model a squatter stance, aided by a slim glasshouse that mimics the silhouette of a lower car.
Function follows form because the new Q2 benefits from a raft of practicality-boosting features. Audi claims that the car’s crossover roofline means interior headroom is more generous than an A3’s, and clever packaging enables the boot to swallow 405 litres of luggage. Optional 40/20/40 folding rear seats increase flexibility for storage, while also enabling that maximum volume to grow to 1050 litres.
Designers have deliberately given the bootlid a wide opening for easy access, and the tailgate can be powered.
The car comes as a five-door, five-seater only, with front-wheel drive the default set-up.
Video examining the Q2's details
Audi is offering the Q2 with its variable damper technology, helping to broaden the car’s breadth of on-road abilities. Sports suspension that lowers ride height by 10mm is available, while variable-ratio steering comes as standard.
The Q2 can be cycled through four drive modes: Auto, Comfort, Dynamic and Efficiency. Cars equipped with Audi’s latest MMI infotainment system have an additional Individual mode that allows drivers to customise settings to their preferences.
Audi says the Q2 can venture off road. When the ESC is set to off-road mode, the car’s drivetrain adjusts to work in slippery conditions and ground clearance is increased to 200mm. Nevertheless, the fitment of Pirelli P Zero road tyres confirms the car’s true purpose.
A long list of safety and driver-assistance features are fitted to the Q2, many of which are previously unseen in this compact class. Heading the list is a pedestrian and collision-prevention automatic-braking function, with traffic jam assist and adaptive cruise control making use of the same hardware.
Additionally, the Q2 gets camera-based active lane assist and traffic sign-recognition technology, with park assist systems also available.
Inside, Audi’s optional virtual cockpit and head-up display will allow drivers to customise displays to show things such as satellite navigation and media information. Additionally, cars equipped with MMI infotainment will be able to stream online media and connect with smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The overall fit and finish of the cabin is more comparable with models in higher classes. Audi says it is marketing the Q2 as a compact premium car, much like the A1, with soft-touch plastics, leather trim and contrasting stitching all included.
The Q2 is a fairly unique offering in the market, as its starting price is a significant £5020 more than the similarly sized Skoda Yeti. It also places the Q2 into the firing line of larger models, such as the Mercedes B-Class, which starts from £21,825.