Q2 Audi’s new compact SUV has been designed to appeal to a younger audience and will rival the BMW X2 and MINI Countryman…
Although the editorial staff of Audi Driver was treated to a special sneak preview back in January, it was not until the 2016 Geneva Motor Show (March 3-13) that Audi presented the public debut of the all-new Q2.
The fourth Audi Q model, following Q3, Q5 and Q7, this time it is intended to fill the compact SUV niche and designed specifically to appeal to a younger audience. Gary Telaak (the designer responsible for the A3 Sportback) and his team, working under the direction of Head of Audi Design Marc Lichte, have applied a bold new styling direction to the new model: ‘In the Audi Q2 we have developed a distinctively geometric form language with model-specific design characteristics. The car exhibits an independent character within the Q family,’ says Lichte.
The result is described as ‘a powerful SUV that shows a lot of vertices and edges. At the front, a strong image is created by the high-mounted single-frame grille in octagonal design as well as the large air inlets. Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with colour offset blades. The rear body terminates in a dynamic way with a long roof spoiler and a diffuser that has an underbody-protection look’.
In profile, it has an eye-catching high shoulder line and the flanks in the door area are distinguished by subtle elongated hexagonal concave ‘cut-out’ areas, with the wheel arches outlined with trims that are claimed to ‘reinforce the quattro character of the compact SUV’.
A particularly distinctive feature is that instead of having a window aperture or plain panel behind the rear doors, the Q2 has a coloured ‘blade’ panel that covers the C-pillar; finished in black it continues the visual effect of the side window glass, but it also comes in a contrasting matt aluminium finish, or it can be colour-coded with the main bodywork colour.
With an overall length of 4.19 metres (198 mm less than the Q3) the Q2 is shorter, but with the same wheelbase as the 3-door A3 hatchback, so the front and rear overhangs are short – a design feature claimed to be instrumental in its appeal to a younger audience. The Q2 is, of course, taller at 1.51 metres in height, and slightly wider at 1.79 metres.
The stylish form also combines with function as the five-door Q2 fulfils all the fundamental expectations of an SUV, with a high entry (although the driver’s seat position is low in relation to the steering wheel), good forward visibility and a large luggage capacity which ranges from 405 with the rear seats upright to 1050 litres with the seats folded forwards. Optional features such as a power-operated tailgate and a three-way split-folding rear seat backrest with cargo through-loading also add to its practicality.
Although it’s a physically smaller model, and expected to be modestly priced from around £22,000 when the UK order books open in July for first deliveries in November, the Q2 comes with a high quality of finish and its equipment includes a portfolio of connectivity, infotainment and assistance systems that is common with the larger Audi models such as the A4.
The Q2 is equipped with a standard MMI screen, positioned high on the instrument panel, the infotainment system operated by a rotary/push-button control and two buttons on the centre tunnel. When MMI navigation plus with MMI touch is ordered, the user also gets a touchpad on the central control element. The system can be conveniently operated by voice control and the integrated MMI search.
A Wi-Fi hotspot enables surfing and streaming with mobile end devices and customers can also use MMI touch to query the online services of Audi connect. The flat rate data plan required for this is included thanks to the SIM card (embedded SIM) that is permanently installed in the car. It also permits roaming in most European countries. Cell phones with iOS and Android operating systems are integrated using the Audi smartphone interface, while the free Audi MMI connect app enables online media streaming and transfer of a calendar from a smartphone to the MMI.
The app for iOS operating systems also has the myAudi destinations function that makes it possible to send the data of a desired navigation destination from any app to the MMI navigation plus system. Along with the optional Audi virtual cockpit and the head-up display, the driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 also come from the larger Audi models – including the standard Audi pre-sense front that recognises critical situations with other vehicles as well as pedestrians crossing in front of the vehicle, and if necessary it can initiate hard braking – to a standstill at low speeds.
Other systems in the options list include adaptive cruise control with Stop & Go function, traffic jam assist, the lanedeparture warning system Audi side assist, the lane-keeping assistant Audi active lane assist, traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic assist.
Many equipment packages, paintwork colours and combinations of interior trim and seat upholstery allow plenty of creative space for personal configuration. One option is the LED lighting package, in which the interior is staged in a particularly attractive way with illuminated trim elements. A new design of 17-inch alloy wheel is fitted as standard, with 19-inch rims available as optional equipment.
Drivetrain and chassis
The Q2 will be launched in the UK with a choice of five different engines, ranging from a 1.0-litre three-cylinder TFSI and a four-cylinder 1.4 TFSI (150 PS) petrol unit, with a 190 PS 2.0-litre TFSI to follow in 2017. Two four-cylinder TDI diesel engines will also be available, a 116 PS 1.6 and 150 PS 2.0-litre.
A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a 7-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto transmission also available as an option in conjunction with all engines. For the 2.0 TFSI, a newly developed dual-clutch transmission will be used, which has a revised oil supply and reduced friction.
Front-wheel drive is standard on the lower-powered models, although the 150 PS 2.0 TDI engine can also be combined with quattro all-wheel drive, and the quattro system is standard in conjunction with the 2.0 TFSI engine.
The rear suspension on the front-wheel drive versions is a semi-independent torsion beam axle, while the quattro models come with a four-link suspension.
Progressive steering, standard in all versions, varies the steering gear ratio as a function of the steering input, such that the ratio is made more direct with large steering movements.
Adaptive dampers are available as an option, as is the Audi drive select system with which drivers can set an individual characteristic for their Q2.
‘With an overall length of 4.19 metres (198 mm less than the Q3) the Q2 is shorter, but with the same wheelbase as the 3-door A3 hatchback…’