Audi has hinted at launching a new Q3 compact crossover
positioned below the Q5
ever since the debut of 2007’s Cross Coupe quattro concept
. However, an even smaller soft-roader is expected to be launched to help Audi reach its goal of delivering 40 different models by 2015. The new entry-level soft-roader is likely to be called the Q1 and latest reports claim it won’t come onto the market until late 2012 at the earliest.
Rising fuel prices are causing buyers of large SUVs to downsize to smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles, but many don’t want to give up some of the unique characteristics of their SUVs – namely, the taller ride height and line of sight. Carmakers are predicting strong growth in the compact SUV segment and are racing to develop a new generation of tiny soft-roaders. Audi’s parent company, Volkswagen, is expected to launch a new SUV version of its next-generation Polo
and BMW is currently testing prototypes for its new X1
The new Q1 is expected to be based on Audi’s upcoming A1 minicar
, which itself will be based on a modified Polo platform. The car will measure approximately 3.95m in length and will feature a coupe-styled body. Both two and four-door versions are expected to be released.
Power will come from a 1.4L TFSI four-cylinder engine producing 125hp (93kW) or a TSI unit with 150hp (112kW). Diesel fans will be able to pick from a 1.2L TDI with 80hp (60kW) or a 1.6L TDI with 120hp (90kW)._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.