Audi plans to have 30 electrified models in its product range including 20 full-electric vehicles by 2025 and wants to derive 40 per cent of its sales from them. There is no doubt then that every class of Audi car will be fully electrified in this decade. In a recent edition, Germany’s Autobild Magazine has carried a scoop story on an electric Audi Q1 (Audi Q1 e-tron), and it is speculated that this would be one of the smallest members of the e-tron group. The Instagram embed is from the artist Larson who posted the cover photo of the magazine.
After the launch of the Audi Q2 in 2016, Audi’s management was heard saying that the name of the entry-level car was not Q1 to keep that option open for the future as the desire for SUVs was growing worldwide and each region had variable needs. The time for filling out the last void in the Q lineup appears to be here through an electric SUV, but it would depend heavily on how soon the MEB Entry platform arrives.
Audi has at least 3 electric cars launches before the end of 2021
Audi has already launched the e-tron electric SUV which has just been joined by the e-tron Sportback and will soon have the e-tron GT. Taking the e-tron into the compact SUV segment will be the Q4 e-tron, which was unveiled as a concept at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. The Q4 e-tron will be the first Audi model to be built on Volkswagen’s MEB platform that is dedicated to electric vehicles. Reports also suggest that Audi is planning to launch two more models on the MEB platform that could include a sportier version of the Q4 e-tron and a sedan.
Audi Q1 on the VW MEB Entry platform?
The MEB on paper is quite a versatile architecture as Volkswagen has planned a wide range of vehicles from ID.3 hatchback to ID.6 7-seat SUV. If Audi wants to leverage the economies of scale to expand, it makes sense for it to introduce an entry-level SUV that could give it a cost advantage without compromises. The Q1 e-tron could help Audi unlock new volumes in Europe, China and even India where there is a big demand for small crossovers. The smallest version of the MEB platform that is under development (Seat was originally chosen as the lead developer of this project) which will support the MEB Entry family of vehicles, could be used by Audi for the Q1 project.
The Q1 e-tron would sit below Audi Q2 and ElectricVehicleWeb can guess specification based on its positioning and the current options at the Volkswagen Group; the Q2 measures 4.19 m in length, so the Q1 e-tron could be about 4 m in length while having a similar interior space as the Q2 at a price of about 25,000 Euros (Rs 20.55 lakh). The powertrain could feature a 30-35 kWh battery offering a range of 250-300 km (WLTP). And unlike the ID.3, Audi would want the Q1 e-tron to be performance-oriented and if the MEB Entry architecture has the provision for a dual-motor setup, the Q1 could come in all-wheel-drive as well.
We’re waiting for new reports to develop this article.