(MENAFN -Arab News) Since the introduction of the Audi Q7 back in 2006, Audi has done very well with its SUV segment selling more than 1.5 million Q models to date.
The company reports that 28 percent of sales this year would be SUVs and this figure is likely to rise to 35 percent by 2020.
To add to this momentum, Audi has confirmed that it will build the Q1, a small SUV dubbed the “Baby Audi” from 2016.
The new model joins a line-up of Q3, Q5 and Q7 and provides an entry to the Audi Q range.
The vehicle will be built in the Ingolstadt plant on a VW Polo platform, securing the future of the factory.
There are no details yet about the engines fitted in the new Q1 but the A1 range of Audis has more than enough torque to power the new micro SUV.
The Q1 would compete with rivals like Nissan Juke. The plug-in hybrid system currently found in the A3 e-tron could also be adopted for use the Q1 for a plug-in hybrid version.
The Q1 is likely to get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with the newly developed 10-speed DSG gearbox an optional extra on conventionally powered models.
The Q5 is the global market leader in its direct competitive environment.
This year, Audi had already delivered 194,430 units of the Q5 to customers by the end of October, which is 17 percent more than in the prior-year period.
Around 230,000 units of this model were built in 2013, which is more than half of the total Q volume.
“The Audi Q1 is part of our broad-based SUV strategy. It is designed on the basis of the modular transverse engine concept and will round off our Q series at the bottom end,” stated Rupert Stadler, chairman of the board of management of AUDI AG.
As an attractive entry into the Q family, the new model will make a strong contribution to the company’s ongoing growth and will strengthen its international competitiveness.
Audi is continuing its model offensive with the Q1; by 2020, the automaker will expand its product range from the current 49 to more than 60 models. By then, Audi will reach total unit sales of more than two million automobiles each year.
“We already know VW is lining-up a super-mini-based SUV in the form of the Taigun, which will use the underpinnings from the up!, and is scheduled to arrive in 2016. BMW and Mercedes also have entry-level SUVs in the pipeline, likely to be called the X-City and X-Class respectively.”