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A new star? Audi's Q2 compact SUV shown in Sydney

SYDNEY REVEAL: New design direction for Audi's latest small SUV, which is sure to appeal to a younger market when the Q2 arrives goes on sale next year priced from $41,100.
SYDNEY REVEAL: New design direction for Audi's latest small SUV, which is sure to appeal to a younger market when the Q2 arrives goes on sale next year priced from $41,100. Mark Bean

IT'S HERE. Well, it's almost here, Audi's hippest, most happening car of the last five years, that is.  

Forget R8 and TT, don't even think about Q7 and put A3 e-tron on the backburner because the new Q2, the German luxury car maker's smallest, coolest, cheapest and - dare I say, sexiest - SUV is going to zap them all.  

How can I be so certain? Because all the signs are there, despite the fact the car is still some five months away from its national launch and despite the fact the car shown to Australia's motoring media was a pre-production, left-hand-drive version.  

2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed
2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed Mark Bean

The signs are simply these: the car is proportionally gorgeous and is oh-so easy on the eye with lines that are a sweet mix of sharp angles and coupe styling and delicately sculpted scallop lines on the shoulders from the A-pillar to the C-pillar.  

More signs? The price is right, the baby Audi starting at $41,100 (plus on-roads) when it lobs in February and the real clincher is that Audi Australia is already holding 200 firm orders and nothing says "success" like a bulging order book.  

What will buyers get?

For starters, the Q2 is built using the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, the structure underpinning (or set to underpin) almost every small VW, Audi and Skoda made and anyone who has driven the current VW Golf model will know just how absolutely sublime that platform is.  

2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed
2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed Mark Bean

Australian buyers will initially be given a choice of two cars, a front-wheel-drive model powered by a 110kW 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an all-wheel-drive quattro model using a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel for propulsion.  

A third variant, a quattro model running a 2.0-litre petrol engine, will join the model mix around the middle of 2017.   While Audi is yet to make public Q2's final detail it is known the small SUV will score a lengthy equipment list.   Expect it to debut with 17-inch alloy wheels, the company's MMI navigation unit, smartphone interface and reversing camera all standard.  

Embracing the young

To give the car even more appeal to a younger demographic Audi will, for the first time, let buyers do a bit of customisation with the colour palette. The broad rear pillars, for example, can be ordered in silver, white or two shades of grey; ditto the side skirts, wheel arch mouldings and bumper inserts.  

2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed
2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed Mark Bean

Happily, there will be no messing with the open-mouthed grille design that marks Q2 as a car with attitude, not something normally associated with a car just 4019mm long - about the size of your common or garden variety super-mini.  

Safety first

Q2 also inherits well, grabbing a lot of the cool features from big brother Q7 and the spunky TT coupe for its options list.  

Which means it will be possible to have Q2 with a full infotainment system, driver assist systems such as Side Assist (it warns against opening doors if something like a cyclist is approaching from behind), Lane Assist (to guide the car back into its lane should it start to wander), radar-guided cruise control with stop and go feature and pedestrian protection (autonomous braking) that works at up to 85km/h.  

Audi's wonderful Virtual Cockpit - which turns the main instrument panel into a huge satellite navigation screen - and a Head-Up Display will also be optional, as will a panoramic sunroof.  

2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed
2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed

And let's not forget the interior lighting pack that allows drivers to choose from a selection of 10 lighting trim kits highlighting dash, door trims and centre console. My favourite is the spooky purple.  

Market trends

What buyers will not be able to get though is a manual gearbox. 

Audi wants its Australian Q2s to be automatic-only, highlighting the trend of younger buyers and SUV shoppers in this country to eschew the three-pedal option, even for a little city slicker like the Q2 where it would arguably add to the around-town driving fun.  

2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed
2017 Audi Q2 compact SUV.Photo: Contributed Mark Bean

Above all, the standout good thing about the new Q2 are its looks, which make it markedly different, especially from the rear, to Audi's other SUV offerings.

Its Q3, Q5 and Q7 have all stuck to a similar, if successful, design formula.  

That superbly sexy styling is likely to set the design trend for the next wave of Audi SUVs and that is sure to get a big "Amen!" from anyone who has ever felt sorry for the Q3.  

The Audi Q2.
The Audi Q2.

Topics:  future models motoring



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