The compact SUV in even higher definition – the new generation Audi Q2
The Audi Q2 has always been notable for striking out in a new design direction that marked it out from other members of the Q family, and as part of an update of the range announced this week that visual distinction has been further emphasized, while the advantage of family ties has also brought greater technological sophistication to the compact SUV. Carefully considered resculpting of the body has been combined with upgraded lighting, while the cabin offers enhanced equipment, improved web-based Audi connect functionality, and an expanded portfolio of driver assistance features. Technik, Sport, S line, Black Edition, and particularly extensively equipped Vorsprung versions of the new generation Q2 will become available to order in October and will reach their first customers in the autumn.
"In its styling, the Q2 has always gone against the grain to a certain extent, which is part of its appeal," says Director of Audi UK Andrew Doyle. "I'm pleased that the designers have chosen to accentuate this facet of its character as part of this update program, which leaves the Q2 not only looking even sharper and more distinctive but also feeling even more mature and sophisticated thanks to its detail changes and technology upgrades."
The principle of polygons: the exterior design
Crisp, sharply defined corners and edges give the most compact SUV in the Audi range a purposeful, confident stance. The frontal and shoulder line styling has always used a polygon motif as its basis, and the same is now true of the rear end, which incorporates a new bumper design with an integrated diffuser insert featuring large five-sided polygons.
The front end also now has a more striking look, particularly in the area below the upgraded headlights. Its octagonal Singleframe is slightly lower, making the front section appear wider, and its insert also references the polygon motif. The design of the large implied air intakes is also more expressive, particularly in models equipped to S line specification and above, and the exclusive styling treatment that has always characterized these more performance-focused variants has also been made more distinct by the addition of narrow slits between the radiator grille and the bonnet that are reminiscent of the iconic Audi Sport Quattro. New alloy wheel designs for most variants also contribute to the fresher image.
The revisions result in an increase of a few millimeters in the length of the Q2, which now extends to 4.21 meters, but don't impact on its 1.79-meter width, 1.54-meter height or lowest-in-class drag coefficient of 0.31 (with sport suspension).
LED headlights now standard, Matrix LED for Vorsprung versions
LED headlamps now enable drivers of all versions of the updated Q2 to see and be seen even more clearly. Vorsprung versions are further upgraded to incorporate Matrix LED units housing seven individual LEDs in a shared module that produce an intelligently controlled high beam light without dazzling other road users. Ten light-emitting diodes installed behind rhomboid optical components generate the daytime running light, while seven further LEDs are the light sources for the dynamic indicators. Dynamic indicators are also standard at the rear in Vorsprung versions, which also feature front and rear light sequencing when the car is locked and unlocked.
The color palette available for the compact SUV has also expanded to include five new shades: Apple green makes its debut with Audi here, and Manhattan grey, Navarra blue, arrow grey, and Turbo blue are new to the Q2. Depending on specification, the blades on the C-pillars which have always been a stand-out feature are either body-colored or painted black, grey or silver, while the lower section of the bumpers will have a black grained look in Technik models, a Manhattan grey finish in Sport versions or a full-body color treatment in conjunction with S line specification and above.
Detail enhancements, equipment upgrades
The spacious interior of the Audi Q2 accommodates five passengers, and its clean-cut lines clearly draw inspiration from the taut design language of their exterior. The air vents and the gear lever knob, or S Tronic selector lever, have a new look, the door panels are freshened by new fabrics and the seats offer more comfort now that electric four-way lumbar support is standard right across the UK range. The sophistication of the onboard infotainment technology also increases for UK Sport, S line, and Black Edition models, which are newly equipped with the fully digital virtual cockpit with its 12.3-inch binnacle display and MMI navigation plus with its 8.3-inch monitor controllable via rotary pushbutton or natural language voice control.
MMI navigation plus includes an LTE module for fast data transmission and introduces the many internet-derived benefits of Audi connect into the Q2, including online traffic, weather, and local fuel pricing information and Google Earth navigation mapping. It also now includes the new features Audi connect emergency call & service and Audi connect remote & control, which via the smartphone-based myAudi app allow the owner to lock the vehicle remotely or check the fuel fill level and range, for example. The transfer of data can be deactivated by the driver by selecting a new privacy mode in the MMI system.
Features common to all versions include powered tailgate operation, the Audi Smartphone Interface, rear parking sensors, and cruise control, and on top of their visual and technological gains Sport, S line, and Black Edition models are enhanced by additions such as front sport seats, those in the latter two variants finished with a cloth and leather combination upholstery, and the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. Black Edition specification also brings a black styling treatment for many exterior details, combined with larger 19-inch alloy wheels for maximum visual impact, while Vorsprung models take all of these benefits and embed even more luxury, technology and safety. Fine Nappa leather upholstery and seat heating, a panoramic sunroof, Bang & Olufsen audio and an upgrade to dual-zone climate control soothe occupants of these top specification models, as do advanced LED ambient lighting and softly backlit inlays whose color scheme can be selected via the MMI.
For the Q2 Vorsprung driver, there is also a step up to adaptive sport suspension with damping control for increased comfort and handling reward, a rearview camera for easier maneuverability, and the benefit of every other driver assistance system available for the Q2. Over and above Audi pre sense front, which is standard across the range and uses radar to observe the area in front of the car in order to avoid accidents or reduce their severity, Vorsprung specification adds park assist for automatic steering into and out of parking spaces, side assists blind-spot monitoring, the rear cross-traffic assist reversing aid and the Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense rear collision prevention and mitigation systems.
Adaptive cruise assist new to Vorsprung models
As part of the model update, the adaptive cruise assist system featured by Audi models in the classes above is also adopted by the Q2, and more specifically by Vorsprung versions exclusively. It enables the driver to let the system largely take over the tasks of accelerating, decelerating, and steering within a lane with the help of its frontal camera and sophisticated sensors. In order to maintain automatic lateral guidance, the driver needs only gently touch the steering wheel, which is part of the system, to prove that they are paying attention. The adaptive cruise assist operates across the entire speed range, and in combination with camera-based traffic sign recognition can initiate automatic deceleration and acceleration in certain situations, for example when entering and leaving towns.
Three TFSI engines and two TDIs in the longer term
At launch, the new generation Q2 will be available with the powerful 1.5 TFSI petrol engine with its cylinder on demand efficiency system, which delivers peak power and torque outputs of 150PS and 250 Nm (184.4 lb-ft). Further TDI and TFSI engines will be added before the end of the year. All engines comply with the new Euro 6 AP emission standard, and the twin dosing technology of the diesel engines minimises NOx emissions. This is achieved through the use of two SCR catalytic converters, one located directly behind the engine and the other installed in the vehicle floor, which cover different operating situations and have complementary effects.
The Q2 with the 1.5 TFSI engine features a manual six-speed transmission as standard, with the seven-speed S Tronic available as an option. When additional engines arrive some will be available in conjunction with Quattro all-wheel-drive based around a new generation multi-plate clutch, which transfers part or all of the engine torque to the rear wheels as needed. The latest version is around one kilogram lighter than its predecessor while offering increased efficiency thanks to enhancements to various details such as bearings and oil supply.
The base character of the Q2: sporty and agile
Regardless of specification, the compact Q2 is an agile SUV. Comfortable yet well-controlled suspension with a standard set-up is common to all versions except the Vorsprung models with their adaptive damping and sport tuning, while progressive steering is fitted without exception, its response becoming increasingly direct as the steering movement increases to optimize handling and vehicle dynamics during maneuvering and on winding roads. On rougher terrain ground clearance of almost 15 centimeters and Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) with an integrated off-road mode also serve the compact SUV well.