Audi shrinks the SUV - again

Audi has officially confirmed it will add a new entry level SUV to its line-up in the form of the Q1.

Previewed in concept car guise as the Crosslane Coupe at the 2012 Paris motor show, the new price-leading SUV is planned to slot into Audi’s line-up beneath the existing Q3 at a price that is expected to see it rival the Mini Countryman when it reaches showrooms in 2016.

The Q1 will bolster Audi's Q-badged range of SUVs to four in total, sitting alongside the Q3, Q5 and Q7.

Audi says the Q5 is currently its best selling SUV, with 194,430 units being delivered to customers worldwide up until October this year.  

Commenting on the decision to put the Q1 into production, Audi chairman Rupert Stadler said: “The Q1 is part of our broad based SUV strategy and a key component of our growth strategy.”

Stadler also confirmed the Q1 will be based on parent company Volkswagen's highly flexible MQB platform architecture, as used by the latest Audi A3. “It is designed on the modular transverse engine concept,” he said.

Audi has already confirmed plans to extend its line-up from an existing 49 models to more than 60 models by 2020 in a bid to hit a worldwide annual sales target of more than two million cars.

Of the additional 11 models planned by Audi, up to four are expected to be Q-badged models, including heavily rumoured Q2, Q4, Q6 and Q8 models.

The Q1 is planned to be produced at Audi’s main manufacturing site in Ingolstadt, Germany alongside the A3, A4 and A5.