Audi’s Q range has been bolstered with the introduction of the Q2, a funky number built on the MQB platform, which it shares with the A3 range and other C-to D-segment models within the Volkswagen Group.
It is neither a hatchback nor an SUV in the true sense of the word, but the Ingolstadt brand has managed to meld the best of both genres into something that is practical and yet fun to drive.
The company has steered away from the now rather staid design. The model ushers in edgier lines, a new grille design and, in this model, a colour-contrasting C-pillar that can be had in a variety of hues. The C-pillar is a positive nod to the iconic 1980s Quattro and could be a design element that will underscore future Audis.
The model was initially touted to be called the Q1, right up to the point where it was ready to go into production, pending Audi’s attempts to buy the Q2 name from Infiniti. According to a company representative, those rights were secured and so it became the Q2. This means the firm may have plans to launch a Q1 in the future, while a Q4 in the mould of BMW’s X4 and Merc’s GLC coupe is also likely to see the light.
The Q2 measures 4.19m in length, has a wheelbase of 2.6m, a height of 1.51m and a width of 1.79m, meaning it is the same size as the now aged Q3. The models have near identical wheelbases, which means legroom is similar for both — not what you would expect considering the Q2’s positioning.
Boot space measures 405l (1,050l with the rear seats folded down). The former figure is 55l down on that of the Q3, largely because the Q3 has a slightly higher roofline. So the Q2 is not what you would call a small vehicle; in fact, in the metal it is quite the contrary.
The cabin has been lifted wholesale from the A3 range, which means a minimalist yet high-quality interior, while the instrument cluster can also be optioned with the digital
Engines mirror those of the A3 range and include a 1.0l, three-cylinder, turbo petrol making 85kW and 200Nm, allied to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch automatic (S-tronic).
There is also a 1.4l turbo petrol unit with 110kW and 250Nm. This was the model available at launch in the Western Cape, which is also available in both manual and automatic. Diesel propulsion will come in the form of the trusted 2.0l turbodiesel with 105kW and 350Nm mated exclusively to an automatic gearbox.
Putting the Q2 through its paces around the environs of the Western Cape saw a vehicle that is agile, neutral in its handling and fairly quiet on the open road. It is, essentially, an A3 with a slightly elevated ride height.
According to the company, one of the design provisos was that the drive was meant to resemble that of a conventional hatchback and, to that end, I feel they have fittingly achieved this.
All models coming to SA will be front-wheel drive, which makes sense once you glance over the pricing, which starts at R434,500 and rises to R565,000, placing it well into Q3 pricing territory.
Of course, this can be warranted by the fact that the Q2 runs on an all-new platform and features the latest technology, including cylinder deactivation for the 1.4l engine, which stops fuel supply to cylinder two and three under partial engine load or while coasting.
This means that the current Q3 could be considered somewhat of a bargain as we can expect the next generation of the model to be much bigger and considerably pricier than the current model.
Audi claims the Q2 is aimed at a younger, more vibrant buyer than that of the Q3; however, the vehicle can get expensive once you start ticking the options list. The Q2 will be somewhat of a niche product, a boutique crossover for those who hanker after exclusivity and individualism in their vehicle.