Audi Q1 to lead SUV assault
Audi will shorty be launching its smallest Q-range SUV when the Q1 finds its way to dealers late next year, and while it is indeed that — a small crossover — it marks the start of a crossover revolution for the Volkswagen Group.
The Q1 will mark the start of a five-model crossover SUV onslaught by the brand in the coming years to take on the likes of the Nissan Juke and the Opel Mokka.
Overseas this will be spearheaded by a three-brand initiative spanning Volkswagen, Seat and Skoda, but because we only receive Volkswagens from that list, the South African revolution might be more of an insurgency.
All of these new fighters will be built on the Q1’s platform, which is a modified version of the shorter MQB platform which hosts the three-door Audi A3. The idea is that the other VW Group brands make use of the economies of scale offered by such a joint platform to produce a range of vehicles that can be sold at a very competitive price.
Locally the new model will fall below the Tiguan SUV and will probably use a series of new and small-capacity three and four-cylinder engines, ranging in displacement from 1,0 to 2,0 litres. This will be linked to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed dual-clutch unit.
Audi is expected to also release the Q1 in a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive, so it would be safe to assume that the Volkswagen crossover will also feature 4Motion four-wheel drive on top models.
It seems that Volkswagen is coming to the crossover party a bit late but it definitely has a stronger brand in terms of smaller cars, so it will be interesting to see how the public reacts to the strategy.