As much as possible, Audi would not use the Q1 badge for its new compact SUV, as the name is too close to its A1 minicar. But it is now. Audi -- which uses the Q badge for its SUV/crossovers like the Q3 compact, the Q5 midsize and the large Q7 -- had preferred to use the Q2 name, but it is held by Alfa Romeo.
Sources privy with the German premium carmaker divulged to Automotive News Europe that Audi has approached Alfa’s parent, Fiat Chrysler, to get permission to use the Q2. Fiat Chrysler did not answer; a “yes” would have meant a “significant” payment coming from Audi, a source said. Fiat Chrysler told Automotive News Europe that it was not aware of any approach from Audi over vehicle names.
Fiat Chrysler chief executive Sergio Marchionne has been at odds with Volkswagen chairman Ferdinand Piech over Alfa Romeo. Marchionne has told Audi’s parent to "drop" its efforts to acquire Alfa. Audi announced last month the output of the Q1 will commence at its Ingolstadt site in Germany next year.
The five-door Q1 will be sold in Europe in mid-2016 and may be marketed in China. The carmaker, however, may not sell the Q1 in the United States since it would be too small to pique buyers’ interest in the country.
Underpinned by VW’s MQB modular architecture, the Q1 will feature a roof that is 10mm higher than the three-door A3 hatchback as well as a higher seating position. According to sources, the Q1 will be available with front-wheel drive or Quattro all-wheel drive.
On the other hand, sources privy with Audi said the luxury carmaker has not asked Fiat Chrysler for permission to name a crossover version of the TT compact sports car the Q4. Fiat Chrysler’s Maserati is already using the Q4 name for its Quattroporte and Ghibli 4wd variants.