Audi’s plans for a compact crossover vehicle to slot into the lineup below the Q3 have moved from the realm of speculation to reality, and spy photographers have caught the upcoming 2016 Audi Q1 at play. While previous test mules have worn Volkswagen Tiguan bodywork, the car’s now out in its own sheet metal, complete with dazzle camouflage.

Like the upcoming second-generation 2015 Volkswagen Tiguan, 2015 Volkswagen Golf and 2015 Audi A3 Sedan, the Q1 will ride on Volkswagen’s MQB platform (a step up from the VW Polo platform that the 2015 Audi A1 subcompact uses), and it’s expected to share a 1.6 liter four-cylinder turbodiesel and 1.4 liter gas engine with the current A1. All-wheel drive is a foregone conclusion, of course. The disguised prototype appears to show lines similar to our concept rendering, with a strong styling relationship to the Q3 and Q7. Audi is developing a distinct design language for its crossovers, separating them from the sedans and wagons, and with four of them in the lineup, the family look will suit the Q1 well. The Q1 has a more upright greenhouse than the larger SUVs, to make up for its short body while still offering decent headroom and cargo space.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

The Q1 is expected to debut in 2016 as a 2017 model. Speculation pegs it as a Europe-only model, and Audi hasn’t announced plans to bring it to North America yet — but considering the success of the Buick Encore and Mini Countryman, there’s definitely a growing case for it making it to our shores. Compact premium crossovers are shaping up to be the next big battleground, it would seem, and Audi definitely wants a piece of that pie. Who knows? Maybe there could be a high-performance SQ1 or a hybrid in the works as well!

2016 Audi Q1 - spy shots

Audi Q1 Caught Testing For The First Time: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
- image 637534
Audi Q1 Caught Testing For The First Time: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
- image 637537
Audi Q1 Caught Testing For The First Time: Spy Shots Exterior Spyshots
- image 637540

You can check our speculative review of the Q1 here.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: