Crossover Audi

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If you think there is no way Audi could make a crossover that is smaller than the Q2, you are wrong. The German manufacturer is working on a new entry-level crossover, which will come as the 2021 Audi Q1. Those are the latest reports we are getting from this company, which has been pretty busy with crossover in the past several years. There is the new flagship Q8 model, as well as the new Q4, while the company is also working on a completely new all-electric crossover.

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When it comes to the 2021 Audi Q1, it’s not hard to presume that it will feature plenty of similarities with the recently redesigned A1. Count on the same mechanics, as well as a lot of similarities in terms of the styling. Also, the engine lineup should be pretty much the same, as well as the cabin and features. The new model should arrive by the end of 2020.

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2021 Audi Q1 Design

When it comes to base design characteristics, this will be the smallest crossover in the company’s lineup. As we’ve already mentioned, it will have many things in common with the hatchback counterpart, the A1. The A1 has been redesigned last year and it comes with a completely new design and loads of new technologies. It is a typical small city car, which measures less than 101 inches in wheelbase.

The 2021 Audi Q1 will ride on the same version of the modular MQB platform and feature pretty much the same overall dimensions. It will be slightly higher and could become a little bit longer. Still, the overall proportions should remain pretty much the same. Count on notably higher ground clearance and some suspension upgrades as well.


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When it comes to the styling, a great thing about the manufacturer from Ingolstadt is that it’s so easy to predict how new models will look like. This company holds strickly to its styling philosophy, so all models look very similar. Naturally, the 2021 Audi Q1 will have most things in common with the new A1. Moreover, we expect even more similarities with the A1 Citycarver, which is already a crossover-ish version of this small hatch. It comes with higher ground clearance, lots of black plastic details and similar things that are typical for crossovers.

The 2021 Audi Q1 should come in a pretty similar way. Count on the nearly identical front end, which possible small tweaks to the bumper, while the ground clearance should be higher for a couple of more inches. Also, the rear end should be a little bigger and feature a little bit different roofline, which would provide more cargo space and headroom in the second row. Still, these modifications definitely won’t be drastic.


When it comes to the interior design, the 2021 Audi Q1 should be a typical copycat. We count on the same cabin we can find in the A1, with an identical dashboard and the rest of the interior. That’s not a bad thing at all. Moreover, this small hatchback features a pretty nice interior, with quality materials and pretty elegant styling. The dashboard is also pretty functional, with very good ergonomics. Also, there are loads of tech goodies, including the latest touchscreen interface with smartphone integration. The famous digital instrument cluster should be available in higher trim levels.

When it comes to the interior space, keepin mind that this will be a supermini-based crossover, so the second row willprobably be pretty tight, while the cargo area won’t be very generous. On theother side, the front row should be quite spacious and comfortable for allkinds of journeys.

2021 Audi Q1 Engines

When it comes to the powertrain, we may expect similar powertrain lineup to the A1’s one. This means that the offer will probably start with a small 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder engine, though we presume that the crossover will skip the base version of the engine and come only with the more powerful variant, which is good for about 115 horsepower. The engine offer should also include a 1.5-liter turbo-four, which delivers around 150 horsepower. Finally, there is the most powerful version which should come with a 2.0-liter turbo-four, which delivers 200 horsepower.

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All models should come with the S Tronic automatic transmission, while some of the versions should be available with manual transmission too.

2021 Audi Q1 Release Date and Price

We still don’t have the exact information about the launch date, but we have no doubt that the 2021 Audi Q1 will hit the market by the end of the year. When it comes to the price, we presume that base models will go somewhere between 23.000 and 25.000 dollars.

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Although it hasn't announced plans to give up internal combustion engines completely, the future is definitely an electric one for Audi. In February, the company revealed its third battery electric vehicle, the e-tron GT, which joins the e-tron and e-tron Sportback SUVs in dealerships this summer. And following the svelte e-tron GT by year's end is a pair of smaller, more affordable crossovers, called the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron, unveiled online on Wednesday. (And if that's not enough, we have some news on Audi's other new BEV platform, but we can't tell you about that until next week.)

As the name suggests, the Q4 fits in between the brand's Q3 and Q5 crossovers. Based on its exterior dimensions, it's only slightly smaller than the Q5, although the benefits of a bespoke BEV platform make for a much more voluminous interior, particularly for those in the back.

If the Q4 looks somewhat familiar—a bit like a Volkswagen ID.4, perhaps—don't be alarmed. That's because it uses a new dedicated BEV architecture shared with VW, called MEB (Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten or Modular Electrification Toolkit). Therefore, many of the Q4 e-tron and Q4 Sportback e-tron technical specs may come as no surprise.

Three different Q4s

Here in the US, we're going to get three different versions of the Q4 family, all of which use the same 77 kWh (useable, 82 kWh net) lithium-ion battery pack. The Q4 40 e-tron has a single 150 kW (201 hp), 310 Nm (229 lb-ft) permanent magnet electric motor driving the rear axle, whereas the Q4 50 e-tron quattro and Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro supplement this with an on-demand 80 kW (109 hp), 162 Nm (119 lb-ft) asynchronous motor for the front axle, with a combined output of 220 kW (299 hp) and 460 Nm (339 lb-ft). As with the ID.4, DC fast charging is at up to 125 kW.


The Q4 even shares its drag coefficient (Cd) of 0.28 with the ID.4. Audi provided some interesting figures on how various design elements contributed to the Q4's WLTP (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure) range. For instance, closing the cooling air intake at the bottom of the front bumper added 3.8 miles (6 km). A pre-spoiler mounted where you might find front fog lights added 3.1 miles (5 km). Spoilers ahead of the front wheels—a notoriously turbulent zone and big contributor to a car's drag—added 8.6 miles (14 km). Bumps on the side mirror surrounds contribute another 1.2 miles (2 km), and an aerodynamic seal on the tailgate contributes 2.5 miles (4 km).

As you might expect, the Sportback is more aerodynamic, with a Cd of 0.26. The sloping rear hatch and its spoiler are good for an extra 16 km of WLTP range compared to the crossover, Audi told us. Official Environmental Protection Agency range estimates won't arrive until much closer to the Q4s arriving here, but the WLTP ranges are 323 miles (520 km) for the Q4 40 e-tron, 303 miles (488 km) for the Q4 50 e-tron quattro, and 308 miles (497 km) for the Q4 Sportback 50 e-tron quattro. (The WLTP test cycle generates much more optimistic estimates than the EPA's testing protocol, so expect official US range estimates to be smaller.)

What makes this better than an ID.4?

Although we're pretty sure the Q4's driving dynamics will distinguish it from the ID.4, confirmation will have to wait a few more months. We do know that there will be two different levels of suspension upgrade available (although, confusingly, some of these features are standard on the Sportback, others on both quattro variants). The dynamic package adds sports suspension, which lowers the Q4 by 0.6 inches (15 mm); variable-ratio steering; and different drive modes (comfort, efficiency, dynamic, individual, auto). If you want adaptive dampers, those are found in the dynamic package plus.

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No such wait is needed to know that the Q4's cabin marks it out from the more mainstream people's electric car. It looks typically Audi, which is a good thing, as the brand is one of the few to beat when it comes to a stylish interior. However, there's a greater use of recycled materials and synthetic fabrics than in conventionally powered Audis.


Compared to the VW, the Audi has more of a center console and locates its drive selector here. It features physical buttons for climate control, audio volume and playback, and more. And if the images in the gallery give you reason to remember the Austin Allegro, fear not—a round steering wheel comes standard; the hexagonal rim is an option.

Sonos, storage, and augmented reality

Two screens—one for the main instrument display and another for the infotainment—are integrated into the dash, unlike in the ID.4. The main instrument display is always a 10.25-inch screen, but there are actually three different grades depending on trim level; the most basic version only displays important information and won't show you a moving map, for example. And there are two sizes of infotainment screen: a 10.1-inch 1,540x720 as standard or an optional 11.6-inch 1,764x824 display. Regardless of size, the infotainment system runs VW Group's latest MIB 3, and Audi has partnered with Sonos for the in-car audio experience.

VW Group's augmented reality heads-up display wasn't ready in time for VW's ID.3 launch in Europe last year, but it will show up as an option in the Q4 and Q4 Sportback. I'm excited to try it out to see if the execution lives up to the idea's promise.

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Audi effused about the Q4's storage compartments in the Q4 press kit and during our briefings on the BEVs. There's the glove box, plus a compartment in the center console, but everyone seemed most pleased with the bottle holders built into each door, each of which can contain a 1 L bottle. MEB uses space above the front axle to house the car's climate control system, so there's no frunk, but the Q4 hatchback has 18.4 cubic feet (520 L) of cargo space when the rear seats are in use and 52.6 (1,490 L) cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. The Q4 Sportback actually manages a slightly larger 18.9 cubic feet (535 L) when the rear seats are in use but a slightly smaller 51.6 cubic feet (1,460 L) when the seats are folded down.

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How much?

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Pricing information will have to wait until closer to the Q4's arrival, which is still some months away. For now, Audi told Ars that it expects pricing to be very competitive, and it will start at under $45,000 before rebates. (The price of the cheapest e-tron SUV might reasonably be taken as the price ceiling for a fully loaded Q4 50 e-tron quattro, but I'm just guessing.) We also expect some amount of bundled, free DC fast charging at Electrify America stations, although, again, that information will be confirmed closer to year's end.

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