Audi is planning to enter the subcompact SUV/crossover segment fray in Europe by introducing a new model dubbed as Q1 by 2016, according to a report by German magazine AutoBild. Once materialized, the Audi Q1 would be the German carmaker’s first premium entry in the segment. Rival Mercedes-Benz is also working on a subcompact SUV – the X class -- that could be launched in 2018, according to reports.
An Audi spokesman told Automotive News Europe that the carmaker wouldn't comment on “rumors.” The increasing popularity of subcompact SUVs has prompted carmakers in Europe to enter the segment. The most recent entries to the subcompact SUV segment include the Opel Mokka, Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008. VW is also taking on the segment with the Taigun.
According to AutoBild, the Audi Q1 would have a price of around EUR20,000 in Europe. It would also be the smallest offering in Audi's Q range, which currently includes the large Q7, the mid-sized Q5 and the compact Q3. According to Autobild, the Q1 would be derived from the Volkswagen Polo and would be powered by engines from the Audi A1 subcompact hatchback.
The magazine said that while the Q1 will have off-road features like raised ground clearance, it will not be offered with four-wheel drive. The magazine added that a plug-in hybrid variant of the Q1 is also planned in 2018 -- powered by a 1.2-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor. IHS Automotive expects annual sales of non-premium subcompact SUV/crossovers to surge to 582,790 units in Europe by 2016. [source: automotive news - sub. required via autobild]