Audi has decided to focus on just one thing and do everything right about it. Maybe something like, enter a new market segment and then introduce an idea with the aim of owning it? Heck yes! The idea here is the new Q2, which has just debuted at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Before we all start to look at its elder siblings and mock it for getting the family weirdo badge from the Q3, Audi has made sure we look at it as a whole new product, a new Q series design and as a car that in itself is serious.
I have to admit I cringed and disliked the Q2 at the first glimpse. But if we see it from every angle as shown in the gallery above, you might start appreciating it. The Q2 presents an energetic image at the front. Two large, powerfully contoured air inlets and the highly positioned single frame radiator grille clearly give the front end an SUV look. The headlamps feel like they are placed in a weird angle, since we are habituated to seeing the horizontal headlights of all Audis. But these ones actually complement the car’s personality! When it comes to the side view, edges and polygons accentuate the vehicle’s lines in a design language that is new for Audi. A special feature is the color-offset blade on the low-profile C-pillar that can be customized. The flanks are drawn inward in the door area. They emphasize the wheels and with them the quattro character of the compact SUV. At the rear, a long roof spoiler, the strong curvature of the bumper and the diffuser in underbody-protection look – All create a dynamic finish. On the left side, the exhaust system terminates in one or two tailpipes. Just like the wedge-shaped headlights, the rear lights are also peculiar and not-so-similar to other models. But again, it does make the car look proportionate and on-point.
In the power department, Audi offers a selection of six engines for the Q2 – three TFSI and three TDI engines, whose power outputs range from 116 HP to 187 HP (With the exception of the European flagship 248 HP engine, however that’s not confirmed for the UK yet). Audi offers a six-speed manual transmission and the Seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission, in combination with all engines. Exceptions are the 2.0 TDI and the 2.0 TFSI, in which a newly developed dual clutch transmission is standard.
The driver assistance systems for the Audi Q2 come directly from its full-size class big brothers. Audi pre-sense front – a standard on-board solution – can recognize hazardous situations that can occur with crossing pedestrians or other vehicles in front of the car by radar ( Which, let’s be honest, will be redundant in India as radars aren’t allowed on cars). The system warns the driver and initiates hard braking if necessary – down to a standstill at low speeds. Another highlight is the Audi virtual cockpit whose 12.3-inch screen shows highly detailed, brilliant graphics and offers two display modes: One focuses on the tachometer and speedometer (Like in an A6), and the other emphasizes infotainment and/or navigation data.
In addition to the Audi virtual cockpit and top infotainment system, a third technology from the full-size class has been implemented – the heads-up display. It projects important information onto a glass panel in the driver’s direct visual field. This information can include navigation data, the vehicle speed and warning messages. In the elaborately crafted interior, customers also have many ways to express their personal style. Colors like yellow, orange and red may be selected for decorative trim and certain areas of the seats. The trim is also available in white plastic or brushed aluminum. Seat upholstery choices range from high-end fabrics to fine Nappa leather. At night, the optional LED lighting package makes the interior especially attractive. In the top version, the LED light strips, whose ten colors are available, illuminate the sculpturally formed trim at the front of the instrument panel and the knee pads with homogeneous light.
The interior gizmos are all nice as you’d expect. But there’s more to its user – friendly side. Wide-opening doors and a high door sill, that is typical of SUVs offer convenient entry into the interior that provides space for five people. The driver sits in a sporty, low position relative to the steering wheel, like in an Audi sedan, but still enjoys the good visibility of an SUV. The luggage compartment can handle 405 litres of cargo, and luggage capacity increases to a full 1,050 liters when the rear bench seatback is folded. Options include a power tailgate and a three-way split of the rear bench backrests.
The Compact SUV will truly be a dash of freshness in the otherwise dull market of compact cars. It looks right. And once we get it in our hands we will let you know if it goes right too. For that, we wait (sigh), as the Q2 will be launching around the middle of the year. It’s going to really ruffle some feathers in the new X1s territory with the right pricing and knock hard on the doors of the Mercedes GLA. Thought a small Audi would be boring? Well it sure looks interesting now, doesn’t it?