Audi Q1 e-tron: No plans for a micro-SUV, says Audi boss [Update]

Audi’s renewed focus on upper-class models, including Speedboat projects Audi Artemis and Audi Apollon could mean that the budget range from the four-ringed brand is not a big priority. Then there is the cap on how far down Audi would go in the future with EVs, bringing us to the topic of the Audi Q1.

Audi isn’t interested in entering segments lower than products like the Q2. This could mean that the four-ringed brand doesn’t see an Audi Q1 (incl. Audi Q1 e-tron) as a potential product.

Audi CEO reiterates no future plans for sub-Q2 crossover

In an interview in May 2021, Autocar asked Audi CEO Markus Duesmann if Audi customers will be able to buy an EV cheaper than the Q4 e-tron, say a Q3 e-tron. In his response, Duesmann said that the company is considering that, hinting that the Q2 could be renewed for another generation.

Duesmann said that Volkswagen Group provides opportunities to launch smaller and lower-cost electric vehicles. However, Audi has positioned itself such that it “shouldn’t stretch too much for lower entry segments.” This is a strong indicator that the company does not intend to go below the existing entry point – the Q2 e-tron (China-only) and release an Audi Q1 e-tron in its SUV range.

Duesmann told Autocar in February 2021 in indirect terms that future Audi electric cars don’t include an Audi Q1 e-tron. “We will certainly offer Q2s and the like. That might be the new entry level for us; we might not do anything smaller,” he said, laying to rest Euro media speculations of an electro-micro-SUV.

Larger electric vehicles a focal point for Audi

“Audi will tend to concentrate on larger vehicles,” Duesmann told WirtschaftsWoche in January 2021. By 2025, the company plans to introduce around 20 all-electric models, Hildegard Wortmann, BoM – Marketing & Sales, Audi, told Franziska Hartung in an interview on March 18, 2021. However, most Audi EVs in the pipeline are premium and/or upper-class models, be it the Audi Q4 e-tron (incl. Sportback), e-tron GT, the Audi Q5 e-tron, the Audi Q6 e-tron, and the Audi Landjet.

Audi Q2 would stay as the entry-level SUV, with no plans for an Audi Q1
In the foreseeable future, the Audi Q2 (and perhaps an Audi A2 e-tron) would be the new entry barrier in the Audi range.

Autocar reported that Audi is considering the return of the ‘A2’ nameplate in the form of an electric A2 e-tron. What failed to generate much interest in 1999 due to its oddball styling, Audi believes the spacious design of the A2 was ahead of its time and could attract the right buyer with an all-electric drivetrain. This could be the smallest Audi car in the new lineup as the future of the A1 is in doubt.

‘MEB-Lite’ to support VW Group’s downward expansion in EVs

The VW Group offers synergies for Audi to generate models faster than competitors. With Seat back in the driver seat of the ID. Entry project, it was confirmed that the crossover-styled Seat Urbano (unofficial name) is to launch in 2025. On its heels would come the VW ID.2 and a Skoda derivate. If the PPE or the standard MEB is proving costly, the specialized version of the MEB platform developed for the base cars could be borrowed by Audi for the A2 e-tron, placing the launch around 2026. The urban Audi electric car could be positioned in the 30,000-35,000 Euro (36,000-42,000 USD) price range.

Audi e-tron charging
With 250-300 km of range and fast charging capability, the A2 e-tron will target urban customers primarily and ‘second car’ buyers.

To leverage economies of scale, the Audi electric car can share the bulk of its parts, such as battery pack, electric motors, aircon and ventilation systems, infotainment units, and other interior components, with the siblings from VW and Seat.

Future for Audi Q2 only electric

A report from auto motor und sport says that the Audi Q2 successor (next-gen Audi Q2) is due in 2023 and that there’s no plan to offer it with an internal combustion engine. The second-gen model would sit on the MEB platform, and it could either a developed version or the upcoming MEB-Lite/MEB Entry of the Seat urban electric SUV and the VW ID.2 (name TBA). Expect the first Audi Q2 e-tron available outside China to come with cost-effective LFP battery packs that allow a range of anywhere between 250 – 300 km (155 – 186 miles) as per WLTP.

Audi Q1 FAQ

Is there a plan for Audi to launch a Q1?

No. Audi’s CEO Markus Duesmann has confirmed that the Q2 would stay as the brand’s entry-level SUV even in the future.

Featured image: Audi