Audi Q1 design sketch - Credit: Audi
Audi has confirmed that its Q range of SUVs will expand in 2016 with the introduction of its smallest 4x4 model yet, the Q1.
Destined to be the entry-level model in the marque's line of premium off-roaders, the Q1 will be more of a road-focused crossover than its bigger siblings, and will go head-to-head with popular family models such as the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur.
Speaking to Auto Express, Audi CEO Rupert Stadler confirmed the arrival of the new model, and said it would increase the appeal of the brand to new customers, and provide a step up for current owners of the A1 supermini.
In particular the brand is targeting younger drivers, though unlike the A1, which is predominantly driven by women, the new crossover is expected to be appeal more to men.
Audi expects the new car to boost sales of the Q range up to around half of all cars it sells.
"With A1 we proved that premium doesn't mean big – people want a quality premium car but not one that is large," Stadler told Auto Express.
"Q1 will do exactly the same – it could really exceed all of our expectations as this area of the market is massively strong at the moment and is only set to get even stronger."
The Q1, like the majority of new VW Group products, will be built on the brand's modular platform, and is expected to be roughly similar in size to the current Audi A3 hatchback.
Engines are thought to be shared with the A1, including a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol, as well as a frugal 1.6-litre diesel. Fitting the A1's new turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder motor is also "entirely feasible", according to the brand.
However, Audi will not currently confirm whether a performance iteration is in the pipeline. Any potential 'S' model would likely use the 2.0-litre turbo motor currently found in the S1 hot hatch.