Audi has seen its traditional rivals churn out every conceivable size and shape of crossover SUVs without a befitting response. This is because Audi has been enjoying the success of the Q3, Q5 and Q7 to care about adding other models in the lineup.
However its competitors have been raking in profits in other classes which the automaker has been missing out. This is set to be a thing of the past as Audi is planning a rapid expansion program of its SUV lineup. This expansion begins with a new crossover dubbed the “ 2017 Audi Q2 ”.
The new model which made its maiden debut at the Geneva Auto Show this week targets the younger generation of buyers far; much younger than the Q3.
I believe this model would be perfect for the US market but Audi is not planning to ship the Q2 across the Atlantic, at least not anytime soon.
2017 Audi Q2 Exterior
The new 2017 Audi Q2 looks more like a high-riding hatch than a crossover SUV. The 5-door lightweight SUV ushers in Audi’s new design language. At only 13.7 ft long, 5.9 ft wide and with a wheelbase of 8.5 ft, the Q2 looks diminutive.
The automaker has crafted the model with form-hardened steel which result in improved strength without excessive weight buildup. It weighs only 2656 lbs. Despite its small size, the Q2 is equipped to handle off-roads with an ESC Off-road mode which is complemented by a 20-cm ground clearance level.
At the front, the Q2 looks pretty interesting. Its grille features a polygon shape with large honeycombs and is finished in a satin trim. The satin trim is extended to the lower fascia. The grille is flanked by stylish looking LED headlights. There is a single character line that starts at the headlights and splits into two below the A-pillar. The two lines then run parallel before merging together just by the rear door handle. The parallel lines produce a flat space that makes the Q2 unique. Its windscreen is moderately sloped.
A t the rear, the Q2 features the satin chrome trimming on the lower bumper. There are also large LED taillights which dominate the rear. However, the rear window looks small and with the large C-pillars, the crossover will have a constrained rear view but there is a backup camera to aid in that front..
The Q2 can be had in 10 body colors. The model rides on stylish 20-spoke 19-inch wheels with a silver metallic. This design makes the present trend of blacked out rims look pretty conventional.
2017 Audi Q2 Interior
The interior is as you would expect of Audi. It features a minimalist dash with 4 round air vents, an infotainment system that pops out of the dash and a gauge cluster hood. The upper and the lower dash are separated by a satin chrome accenting. The dash is also fitted with a number of switches. For convenience, the center console has a storage space that can fit two drinks. Except for two toggle switches and Menu and Back buttons, the only hard buttons left, other inputs are done via a rotary control knob.
The cabin is also fitted with a 12.3-inch screen similar to the one on the R8 and the TT. The screen displays speedometer and tachometer in its prominent display while entertainment and map screens are displayed on the sides. The settings can also be adjusted to have entertainment and map screens at the center and the two gauges on the sides.
The new model also does introduce a new color scheme for Audi. The lower dashboard and door panels are finished in a teal color which makes the cabin dark but less dreary. It also adds a unique look to the cockpit. Audiophiles are not left out as the Q2 comes with an optional Bang Olufsen audio system with 14 speakers and is rated with 705 watts of power. The cabin is illuminated by LED light strips that glow white at night.
Audi offers not one or two but 6 different engines which include 3 TFSI and 3 TDI engines. Their power output range from 116 hp to 190 hp. Their displacement ranges between 1.0 L and 2.0 L. The automaker says the reason for the many engines is based on the principle of right sizing. The principle involves striking a perfect balance between a models class, engine displacement, torque and power output as well as fuel efficiency.
The TFSI engines include; 1.0 L, 3-cylinder unit capable of 116 hp. Next is a 1.4 L, 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation. It is rated at 150 hp. The most potent TFSI engine is a 2.0 L4-cylinder engine which produces 190 hp.
Moving over to TDI diesel engines, the first mill is a 1.6 L 4-cylinder that also produces 116 hp. The second diesel engine is a 2.0 L 4-cylinder rated at 150 hp. This engine is also tweaked differently to produce 190 hp. All engines will either be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission. However, the 2.0 LTFSI and 2.0 L TDI feature a newly developed dual clutch transmission which has a large spread of gear ratios as well as a high level of efficiency.
All models are offered with progressive steering. A Quattro permanent AWD system comes as standard with the 2.0 TDI and TFSI engines and as an option with the 1.4 L TFSI and 2.0 L TDI with 150 hp. Audi drive select handling system is offered as an option. It features 4 driving modes (auto, comfort, dynamic and efficiency). Adding a MMI radio adds an individual mode.
Price and release date
When it hits the market, the 2017 Audi Q2 will be Audi’s most affordable crossover slotting below the Q3. As such, expect a price below the Q3’S €29,600 ($33,225) in Europe. It is not yet clear whether the Q2 will come to the states. The automaker will announce official prices closer to its on-sale date in the fall of this year (2016).
Picture from 2016 Geneva Motor Show
A segment of small luxury crossovers is quickly taking shape. BMW too is also planning to launch a compact crossover set to be released this year also. The model is christened the BMW X2. It will now be just a matter of time before Mercedes follows suit.
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