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Audi Q1 to go on sale in 2016, showcasing future design direction

March 11, 2015

Audi has confirmed that yet another SUV is going to enter its lineup, with production of the all-new Q1 set to start at the beginning of 2016.

2016 Audi Q1 preview sketch

Rupert Stadler, Audi boss, has confirmed the Q1 will share the underpinnings of the Volkswagen Golf, being based on the smallest version of the VW Group MQB platform.

The Q1 is said to share the same dimensions of the three-door A3, but will obviously have a raised body and seating position, as well as the usual suite of exterior trimmings being an SUV.

The move to produce its smallest SUV yet is part of a larger expansion plan from the German manufacturer to expand its lineup to 60 models by 2020, and to further its market share.

The powertrains are expected to be taken from the A3 range, with the usual mix of turbo-diesels and turbo-petrol engines, mated to either the front wheels or with Audi’s optional quattro all-wheel drive system.

Interestingly, the Q1 is reported to feature some styling influences from Audi’s future design language, which is expected to be fully unveiled in 2016 with the introduction of the next A8 sedan – we can probably turn to the Prologue concept for some clues. So far the brand has only released the teaser sketch above, but as you can see, there are some similarities with the Prologue, especially around the grille and headlight area.

The Q1 will sit at the base of Audi’s plethora of SUV models. Initially it won’t really have direct rivals to compete with, with the Audi Q3 already pitched against BWW’s X1 and the Mercedes GLA-Class. The closest rival will be the MINI Countryman and to a lesser extent the Fiat 500X.

Alexi is a contributing news journalist and junior road tester at PerformanceDrive. He has a passion and appreciation for the engineering in cars, as well as new technologies that lessen the impact on the environment. His dream cars are an M3 to drive to work, and a LaFerrari for the weekend.