Audi made a few waves last year when it announced that its Board of Management and the Works Council have approved the Q1. Although Audi has yet to unveil the finished vehicle, a general understanding of Audi’s lineup and general strategy brings us to the realization that the upcoming CUV will be based on the A1, itself based on the Volkswagen Polo, and therefore be smaller than the compact/subcompact Q3. As such, we’d classify the Q1 as a city (or sub-subcompact) CUV.
And the more we think about, the more we come to the realization that there isn’t a single crossover on the market today, whether in the U.S. or in Europe, that’s similar to what the Q1 will be. Not one. Seriously, go ahead and name one smaller-than-subcompact CUV from a luxury brand. You can’t, because they don’t exist.
So if it seems that Audi has opened a new vehicle segment, it’s because it has — a circumstance that makes us wonder whether Audi’s direct competitors (Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, Infiniti, or Cadillac) will follow the Four Rings into the tiny crossover space. Given that Audi might be following the others into the full-sized crossover segment with the maybe-upcoming Q9, we’d say that it’s definitely a possibility.
As of now, Audi is planning to begin production of the Q1 in Ingolstadt in 2016, and we can’t wait to see the production model — if for no other reason than it potentially being a catalyst for a brand new segment — which is always exciting in the grand scheme of automotive history.