Audi’s baby Q1 Crossover to get 295 horsepower RS treatment

Audi RS Q1

Audi’s Q1 crossover is the German company’s latest foray into the compact utility vehicle (CUV) market, with a strong emphasis on the word “compact”.

The pint-sized Q1 is only 12.4 feet long, which is a full 1.3 feet shorter than the current Audi TT and over 2.0 feet shorter than the Volkswagen Tiguan, another compact crossover. The Q1 is even 6.0 inches shorter than the Audi A1, the supermini-sized economy car on which it is based.

Despite its meager dimensions, the Q1 should be more off-road capable than a skateboard, as Audi promises it will have “generous ground clearance.” However, due to the Q1’s entry-level status, it will only be offered in front-wheel-drive, so don’t expect the baby Audi to be king of the mud pits.

“The Audi Q1 is part of our broad-based SUV strategy,” said Rupert Stadler, CEO of Audi. “It is designed on the basis of the modular transverse engine concept and will round off our Q series at the bottom end.”

The Q1 does look the part though, with angular, modern body styling and wide front intakes. If we’re to go by the current renderings, the Q1 looks to be one the most attractive CUVs on the market, especially when compared to the downright awkward Mercedes ML Coupe and BMW X6

Despite only being offered in FWD, Q1 should be plenty of fun on tarmac. World Car Fans reports that the Q1 will feature a 295-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo four in RS guise. We don’t have conformation on curb weight yet, but given that the A1 weighs around 2500 lbs in top form, the RS Q1 should be plenty spry. 

The Q1 will offer a multitude of other engine choices, including three, smaller turbocharged fours with 138hp, 177hp, and 226hp, respectively. Two turbo diesels will also be offered, one with 147 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque, and another with 181 hp and 206 lb-ft.

The Audi Q1 is expected to retail for around $35,000 when it hits showrooms in the first quarter of 2016.