2012 Audi Crosslane Concept
Automaker seeks to expand SUV lineup with an entry below the Q3
Audi plans to reveal the Q2 SUV next year, the company said in a statement that outlined its plans for the near term. The Ingolstadt-based automaker is doubling down on SUVs, and in addition to rounding out its stable of off-roaders and soft-roaders it plans to debut a successor to the Q5 in 2016 as well.
The Q2, which has not yet been previewed in concept form, will be positioned below the Q3, which is closer in size and packaging to the BMW X1 than to the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. But it remains to be seen if the Q2 will be designed as a direct competitor to the GLA-Class, which is the Stuttgart-based automaker’s smallest SUV, or whether its design will be less hatch-like. Audi has gone the mini-MPV route with one previous vehicle with “2” in its name; the Audi A2 which was aimed at the first-generation W168 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
An SUV positioned below the Q3 was previously teased in the form of the Audi Crosslane Concept, seen above, at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The concept made use of the MQB platform, which currently underpins a number of small VW AG vehicles such as a the Golf, and was aimed at the Mini Countryman. At the time the concept was expected to appear on the market in 2015 as the Q2, so the current plans aren’t far from Audi’s original intent for a sub-Q3 model.
In addition to announcing a new SUV, the company also reconfirmed its commitment to alternative energy powerplants in its cars. “We are continuing with our high levels of investment in future technologies to enhance the strong position of our brand,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler. “A significant proportion of our investment is naturally in the field of alternative drive systems.” By 2018, the brand plans to market first battery-electric vehicle, previewed in concept form by the Audi e-tron quattro concept.
Audi’s announcement, which laid out a fairly short-term roadmap, is nevertheless seen as a careful move by the company that will have to deal with the financial impact of the diesel crisis by its parent company Volkswagen. While VW has already scaled back several programs, in addition to announcing that it will halt production of the Phaeton sedan as its replacement is being readied, Audi has not publicly announced cutbacks to its plans for the next several years.