Want an Audi but only have $0.80? Meet the Audi Q1 micro crossover

Audi Q1

Audi has decided to corner the market on twee CUVs with its new, infinitesimal Q1.

Scheduled to be released in the first quarter of 2016, the Q1 is going to be based on the same platform as the A1 and the Volkswagen Polo.  

At only 12.4 feet long, the Q1 will be visible with the naked eye, but I think you’ll to need my glasses to see the details. Don’t worry, it will at least be tall! Audi promises a “generous ground clearance.” Based on the length, though, generous appears to be enough for your coffee cup to roll under it, but not tall enough to reach under and grab it.

Don’t think for a second, though, that Audi wants you will be able to use that ground clearance for anything useful either. Audi, the king of quattro, is planning on offering the Q1 in front-wheel drive only.

According to Die Bild-Zeitung Engine options will run the gamut. With everything from a 1.4 liter TFSI, a hybrid, or a 90-horsepower diesel. The only trouble will be picking which one you want. Interestingly enough, there may be an SQ1 variant, which could make as much as 231 hp. Sheer lunacy.

If that happens, I really hope they include all-wheel drive. Otherwise the torque-steer will probably be enough to make the car perform a snap roll.

On looks though, I am completely sold. The styling is drawn from the fantastic Crosslane Coupe. It looks like a tiny Range Rover Sport, but more futuristic. It’s the car that I always imagined real estate agents and hair dressers would be driving in thirty years, but now you can get it in three.

Usually, these tiny crossovers strike me a bit odd. They are, in essence, taller versions of already nice three-door hatchbacks. You get some headroom, sure. But you pay for that with reduced fuel economy and sloppier handling. At least the Q1 has the looks down, and the PQ25 platform it shares with the Polo is a good one.

Besides, my tastes seem to run opposite of the market because more and more micro-crossovers – or hatchbacks on stilts as I think of them – are coming on the market. And frankly it seems like you could do a lot worse than Audi’s offering. 


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