AUDI’S long-awaiting entrant in the premium small SUV class will reach Australia early in 2017. The Q2 features a new exterior style with sharply defined geometric shapes that Audi calls Polygonal Design. Though the exterior dimensions are compact, there’s a surprising amount of space inside, and Audi’s usual high-quality fit-out.
The best seller is sure to be the least costly version: the 1.4-litre TFSI. It has a turbocharged 110kW four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed double-clutch automatic. There’s no quattro all-wheel-drive in this one; the engine powers the front wheels only. Audi Australia aims to price it below $40,000.
So much for the obvious stuff; here are some things you don’t know about the Q2 1.4 TFSI…
- Eloxal is the name of the matte-metallic finish seen on the Q2’s dashboard inlay strip. The 1.4 TFSI comes standard in Design trim line, which means a choice of white or orange. The colours are intended to mimic the anodised finishes used on mountaineering gear like carabiners.
- There’s another Audi with exactly the same axle-to-axle measurement as the Q2. The Audi A3 three-door – which isn’t sold in Australia – has the same 2600mm wheelbase. Both are made on the same production line in Ingolstadt, Audi’s Bavarian hometown.
- The guy who penned the exterior of the Q2 is only 33 years old. “The polygon is the main theme of the design language of this car,” Matthias Fink told Which Car at the model’s official reveal in Geneva early in 2016. “This is the signature…”
- Audi’s aerodynamics department worked hard to cut the Q2’s air resistance, even shaping the taillight lenses to smooth airflow around its tail. The resulting low-for-an-SUV drag co-efficient means the 1.4 TFSI has a top speed of 212km/h, even though its engine isn’t super powerful.
- In Australia, the Q2 1.4 TFSI will come with Audi’s MMI navigation infotainment system, with a high-res 7-inch screen. This is two upgrade steps better than the standard basic system in Europe.
- Unlike the more expensive Q2 versions with 2.0-litre engines and quattro tech, the 1.4 TFSI has a simple torsion beam suspension. Though theoretically inferior, you’ll find it hard to pick the difference in back-to-back test drives.
- The Q2 is the smallest Audi so far to use the company’s new and very compact driver airbag module. It takes up less room in the centre of the steering wheel, improving the view of the instruments.
- Still on steering: the Q2 has a system specially tailored to suit it, not an off-the-rack set-up. The geometry of the column was designed to present the wheel to the driver at a near-vertical angle, as in a car. And the steering rack itself was engineered with a progressive ratio that’s slow and calm on the straight-ahead, but gets more direct and lively as the wheel is turned. Lock-to-lock takes just two turns.