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

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 comes well into the decade. 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 will tend to concentrate on larger vehicles,” Audi CEO Markus 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 last week. 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, the 2023 Audi TT SUV, or the Audi Landjet.

Duesmann told Autocar UK last month 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.

Audi Q2 rear
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 UK 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 odd-ball 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, this week 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. 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 25,000-30,000 Euro (30,000-35,000 USD) price range.

To leverage economies of scale, the Audi electric car will 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.

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.

Range & Performance

The Audi electric car which comes in place of the A1 would be marketed as a city runabout, and keeping that in mind, a 35kWh battery with a range of 250-300 km on the WLTP cycle would be a reasonable specification. For buyers seeking extra performance, a dual motor variant of the electric Audi would differentiate it from sister products within the VW Group.

The A2 e-tron is expected to be priced under 30,000 Euros/35,000 USD when it arrives around 2026.

Is there a plan for Audi to launch a Q1?

No, Audi’s CEO Markus Duesmann confirmed this year that the Q2 would stay as the brand’s entry-level model even in the future.