Audi won't redesign the A1 and Q2 when the subcompact models reach the end of their respective life cycles, Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has revealed.
In an interview with Germany's Handelsblatt (subscription required) published on Monday, Duesmann said the models were being phased out as part of a plan to refocus on high-end models which come with higher margins.
“We have also realigned Audi as a premium brand,” he said. “We will limit our model range at the bottom and expand it at the top.”
Duesmann started hinting in early 2021 that the A1 might be dropped, but this is the first time he's mentioned the Q2 as also being on the way out.
2019 Audi A1 Sportback
The A1 is a corporate cousin to the Volkswagen Polo and currently into its second generation, while the Q2, a cousin to the VW T-Roc, is still in its first generation. Neither model has ever been offered in the U.S., where the A3 serves as the entry point to the Audi range.
There have been reports that Audi may replace the A1 with a modern A2 powered by batteries, though Duesmann's latest comments suggest such a model is off the table, at least for now.
With the need to switch to electric powertrains in key markets, as well as offer the latest in electronic driver-assist features, many automakers are facing the challenge of selling smaller cars at a profit. While mainstream brands can rely on higher volumes, Audi's solution will be to focus on high-end models. According to Duesmann, the strategy will enable Audi to grow profits while selling fewer vehicles.
Following the recent launch of the E-Tron GT, Audi has several more high-end models in the pipeline. The list includes a Q8 E-Tron to replace the E-Tron (and Q8), plus new A6 E-Tron and Q6 E-Tron models, and an electric successor to the A8 previewed last year by the Grandsphere concept. And beyond 2026, Audi will no longer launch any models fitted with an internal-combustion engine.