Audi Q2 – new SUV for a new segment

Audi has extended its Q family with a compact SUV, and we got to travel to Bahrain to try it out for ourselves. The Audi Q2 is an urban-type vehicle for everyday driving and recreation, bundling a progressive design with a high level of functionality. Connectivity, infotainment, and assistance systems are on the level of full-size class.

Robust look: the exterior design – The result: a powerful SUV that shows a lot of vertices and edges. At the front, a strong image is created by the Singleframe grille in octagonal design that is positioned high as well as large air inlets. Especially eye-catching is the low roof that descends and merges into the C-pillars with color offset blades. This contrast accentuates the sportiness of the Audi Q2.

The rear body terminates in a dynamic way with a long roof spoiler and a diffuser that has an underbody-protection look. In a side view, the high shoulder line is especially eye-catching as are the concave flanks in the door area. The latter emphasize the wheel housings and thereby the quattro character of the compact SUV.

The vehicle measures 1.51 meters tall and 1.79 meters wide. The overhangs are short with a vehicle length of 4.19 meters and a wheelbase of 2.60 meters, which means it will fit in any parking space.

Functional: the interior – The interior of the Q2, whichtakes up the taut and angular form language of the exterior, offers space for five. The four doors open wide, entry is comfortable and visibility is good, however seating positions for the driver and front passenger are sporty. The luggage compartment can handle 405 liters of cargo, and luggage capacity increases to 1,050 liters when the rear bench seat back is folded. Options include a power tailgate and a three-way split of the rear bench backrests. The middle segment also serves as a through-loading facility – practical for transporting skis or shelving. MMI navigation plus: user operation that is a lot of fun – Operating the Q2 is simple and ergonomic: The MMI screen is positioned high on the instrument panel as standard. Its size depends on the infotainment system that is ordered. Its functions are controlled by a rotary/push-button control, two buttons and two rocker switches on the center tunnel. MMI navigation plus with MMI touch tops the infotainment range. Its menu structure and the touchpad on the rotary/push-button control that allows scrolling and zooming make operating it a pleasure. Natural language operation and MMI search are just as intuitive. Often just a few characters need to be input to arrive at the desired function. Brilliant displays: Audi virtual cockpit and head-up display – The Audi virtual cockpit is available as an alternative to the easy-to-read analog instruments. Its 12.3-inch screen displays highly detailed, brilliant graphics and offers two display modes: One focuses on the tachometer and speedometer, and the other emphasizes infotainment and/or navigation data. The view is changed using the multifunction steering wheel. In addition to the fully digital instrument cluster and top infotainment system, a third technology from the full-size class has been implemented – the head-up display. It projects important information onto a glass panel in the driver’s direct field of vision. This information can include navigation data, the vehicle speed and warning messages. Full-size-class technologies: the driver assistance systems – The driver assistance systems for the Q2 come from the full-size class. Audi pre sense front uses radar to recognize hazardous situations that can occur with crossing pedestrians or other vehicles in front of the car. The system warns the driver and initiates hard braking if necessary – down to a standstill at low speeds. The systems are also multifaceted and offer high performance.

Audi has bundled the most popular ones in the assistance package, including adaptive cruise control with Stop&Go function. The first system operates with radar support to maintain a desired distance to the vehicle ahead. Audi side assist monitors lane changes by radar, and the video camera-based Audi active lane assist helps the driver to stay on track in the driving lane. If the driver does not react to the warnings from the lane departure warning system, the new emergency assist brings the Audi Q2 to a stop autonomously.

The driver gets additional support from the latest-generation park assist. It can manoeuvre the compact SUV into parallel and perpendicular parking spaces. Cross traffic assist rear comes into play when the driver wants to reverse out of a perpendicular parking spot. It monitors the traffic behind the car with its radar sensors. Top solutions: chassis – Progressive steering is standard in all versions; in this system the toothing of the steering rack is designed to vary the steering gear ratio according to the steering input.

With large steering movements it is more direct, making driving more dynamic. The 2.0 TFSI come standard with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The hydraulic multi-plate clutch with its electronic control transfers torque nearly entirely to the front wheels in normal driving, but it can redirect torque in a 50:50 ratio to the rear axle steplessly and lightning fast, if necessary. This is how the quattro drive unites driving pleasure and driving safety, taking them to a new level.

Wheel-selective torque control, an intelligent sub-function of the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), rounds out the quattro range of functions. The optional Audi drive select handling system lets the driver choose between five modes: auto, comfort, dynamic, efficiency and individual. It influences a variety of vehicle systems, including the steering and gear shift characteristics as well as the optional suspension with adaptive damper control.

With ESC Offroad mode and nearly 15 centimeters of ground clearance, the Q2 is also well-suited to rugged terrain. Individual style: exterior and interior – Q2 customers can configure the look of their car according to their wishes in many aspects. Add-on parts, which vary according to the trim line, give the SUV a sporty or typical off-road appearance. The two lines design and sport are positioned above the base car. The Q2 is even further differentiated in the design selection or the S line sport package. The S line exterior package highlights the agile stature of the SUV.

Simon Balsom