Geneva Bites – Audi Q2

Roving reporter, Robertas Parazitas gives the new Q2 a visual once-over. He’s moderately impressed. 

Audi Q2 Image autovia-media (4)
2017 Audi Q2 at the 2016 Geneva Motor show.

There was a time when I hoped that the premium German carmakers’ foray into SUVs would pass by like a bad dream, but with their sales of products categorised as crossovers sitting at over 50% of production, and sometimes more, we have to accept the current orthodoxy, and take an interest. The Q2 is intriguing on several counts. It’s scarcely smaller than the Q3, but cheaper and lighter. Up front there’s a bit of a rethink of Audi’s “big face”, but it’s still strong on Autobahn presence.

The flanks and rear quarters are where the real interest lies. It’s the first 4 or 5 door Audi – as far as I can recollect – to break the six light ‘signature’ started with the C2 100.

Audi Q2 Image autovia-media (17)
2017 Audi Q2 at the 2016 Geneva Motor show.

For the hefty C-pillar there is no complex piece of bonded glazing over a useless aperture, just a solid contrasting panel made of “something” as Archie Vicar might have put it. It’s a counterpoint to the present ‘floating roof’ fashion, which was everywhere at Geneva.

Audi Q2 Image autovia-media (14)
2017 Audi Q2 at the 2016 Geneva Motor show.
Audi Q2 Image autovia-media (12)
2017 Audi Q2 at the 2016 Geneva Motor show.

The side treatment  itself is a departure for Audi. The modelling of the flanks is more akin to the Ssangyong Tivoli, and there’s something of the original Lancia Delta and possibly also the Leyland Princess about the profile.

It’s not quite what we might have expected, and as such is rather exciting. My thought is that it’s aimed at a younger customer than the Q3. There’s certainly an emphasis on the obligatory infotainment that particular market expects. It’s not quite Audi’s C4 Cactus, but there’s a quirkiness that appeals – its good to see that Audi are becoming less fixed in their ways.

34 thoughts on “Geneva Bites – Audi Q2”

  1. Audi is there to make money and I expect this car will sell. That said, there is some value in professional integrity that endures while commercial agility is soon forgotten. The C2 is so far from Audi’s roots in sensible, serious design that it jars with what they also have in their showrooms. This is a focus group car, with its chamfers and grooves and painted panels. The kids will love it.

  2. Is this to be the crossover age equivalent of the VW Polo, the car that the conscientious well-off buy for their sons and daughters when they go out into the big world. They want a brand that they know will keep them safe – a Cactus might be more fun, and cheaper, but, well, it’s French isn’t it?

  3. Refreshing to finally see an Audi that is not a complete cookie cutter copy of the rest of their range. Near square head and tail lights, a vertical nose, un-Audi like flanks. I’d say well done. Not everyone’s cup of tea but for that very reason I like it. To get a like for like spec of my high spec Yeti, this car (even though roughly the same size as the Yeti) will alas cost a lot of dough more – £35,000 I bet at least. But compared to the awfully contrived and hugely overpriced Mercedes GLA this is for sure the pick between those two. But throw in an equally priced BMW X1? Nah the generic styling of that inside and out means the “ugly and weird” Audi gets my vote.

    1. I think you cannot compare the Q2 with cars like the GLA or the X1, although it has the same wheelbase as the Q3 (2,60m).

      It is a posh rival for the Cactus, the 2008, the Captur or the 500X. Not so tall as a Countryman or practical as a 2008, but with more power and a sporty touch.
      It is the fastest growing market segment, therefore it will find a lot of customers.

    2. Eh? I’m sorry but money is the ultimate thing that decide what gets cross shopped. And your typical Audi Q2 driver will 100% also cross shop similarly priced cars from Mercedes and BMW. The moment you can show me a £30,000 Cactus or 2008 then perhaps you are right but until then, dream on.

    3. Not much point speculating, we’ll have to wait and see how they price it.

      But when I went to check the list price for the Q3 and saw that the RS Q3 starts at over £45k, it reminded me that there are indeed a fair few people out there ready to spend stupid amounts of money for badge kudos.

    4. My guess is that the entry price will be somewhere just north of £18k, but engine choice and useless options could easily bring the cost nearer £30k for people with more money than sense. But likely the price gaps for A1 v Q2 will be similar to those for A3 v Q3.

    5. Without knowing that the right one is the premium car you won´t guess that there is a cheap and an expensive car on this picture

    6. Only if you’re blind and lived in a cave the last 40 years I’m afraid. NO-ONE wanting this sort of car will remotely consider a 2008 and a Q2 at the same time, so this point is moot.

    7. Has there actually been any indication of price range from Audi for the Q2?

    8. The article only mentions starting price. Top of the range is likely be dependent on engines and transmissions on offer.

    9. True but I took that same rule of thumb and worked it out. No car on the planet is priced according to the raw goods it took to make it. They are priced just above or just below what they see their biggest competitor’s prices. So not exactly rocket science to work out where this will sit in the market and what the price of the top of the range one will be. Furthermore the now “same size but with a bigger model number” Q3’s prices are known and the Q2 will clearly be priced to sit below that by a few grand. Q3 prices range from £25,650 to £36,045 before options. See page 32 in the PDF below.

      Click to access q3.pdf

    10. Fair enough. There’s clearly no point keeping prices down if there are enough people out there prepared to pay through the nose.

    1. You can bet they won’t be making the same mistake again.

  4. I’m not sure how much of an aberration this is. What it suggests to me is an initial attempt by Audi to project a different set of design cues for its pseudo-off-road range. If you look at Audi’s more recent crossover concept designs, you can see this evolution emerging – not entirely successfully in this case I might add. I do wonder, given the lead times involved how much of a ‘Lichte’ design this is? Perhaps it’s a case of Roy Axe salvaging what he could of Montego, or perhaps Marc shoehorning some of his new ideas onto an already complete design? Perhaps a bit of both.

    Note Audi’s PR strapline for Q2: Untaggable. Clumsy car, clumsy adline. I do hope graffiti artists everywhere challenge Audi’s claim by ‘tagging’ every Q2 they find. By the way, is the formative Un a ‘thing’ now?

    1. The curse of “bubblegum English” as a German described it to me a while ago. Lots of it around at the Salon. What’s Mitsubishi’s “Drive@Earth” meant to mean?

    2. ‘Drive@Earth’? Good Laird, that’s akin to the kind of top-shelf pseudo-English/techno babble German marketing executives like to unleash upon an unsuspecting target audience.

      Recent Audis have been surprisingly clumsy – above all the astonishingly ill-defined new Q7 – but this is such an insecure mishmash of clashing intentions that I can only hope (on behalf of Audi) that Marc Lichte’s sole contribution has been the updated grille, which, incidentally, doesn’t align itself with the headlights in any kind of way. Not that the image counscious care about such – literally – minor details.

    3. The inner line of the headlights seems perfectly parallel to the grille on my computer… so I’m a bit perplexed as to how this grille “doesn’t align itself with the headlights in any kind of way.” ?

    4. Well, admittedly, there’s that one parallel line, but the headlights’ ‘frowning’ shape appears to be very much at odds with the grille’s overall shape.

      Lest we forget, the styling scheme for the Q models as envisaged by former head of Audi design, Wolfgang Egger, included a detached singelframed grille à la Q7 Mk2 and facelift Q3, which would be in keeping with this Q2’s overall Tonka flavour.

      Despite the odd exaggeration, I stand by my assertion that this car is a bit of a bricolage.

    5. I agree it is no styling masterpiece. But I feel because of that and that it doesn’t look like a mini-me Q3/Q5/Q7 (like the X1 is of the X3 and X5) it is all the better for it. Like an English Bulldog, its design quirks are what makes it interesting (in my book).

    6. The rearlights and the whole car seen from the rear are crying VW Polo.

    7. Seeing the Polo started off as an Audi, maybe it’s only fair.

  5. No one will notice – at least not those who buy the car. Blissfully ignorant they will be.

  6. There is a grey one in the press packs with black wheels, black C-pillar and black pack without any chrome… Have to say without the chrome around the shnozz out front and in this colour it looks pretty good.

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