Rumors of a tiny BMW crossover to slot below the X1 have been swirling around for years, but never happened. It’s been a while since we heard about the Urban X, and in the meantime, Audi is leaving the segment. While chatting with German business newspaper Handelsblatt, CEO Markus Duesmann said the Q2 will not live to see a second generation.
Much smaller than the BMW X1, the subcompact crossover with the Four Rings will cease to exist after one generation. The hotter SQ2 will also be terminated at the end of the model’s life cycle, likely in 2-3 years. Never sold in the United States, Audi launched the Q2 five years ago and applied a mild facelift in 2020.
In addition, Audi will also pull the plug on the A1, a supermini largely based on the Volkswagen Polo / SEAT Ibiza / Skoda Fabia. Consequently, it means the luxury brand from Ingolstadt will abandon the subcompact segment. Why is it taking such a drastic move? To focus on bigger and more expensive cars as these generate higher profit margins.
Bigger Vehicles = Bigger Profits
Duesmann told Handelsblatt he will simplify Audi’s entry-level offerings and diversify the portfolio at the other end of the spectrum. What Audi probably needs is a fullsize SUV to take on the BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS with a more spacious third row than the Q7 offers. A potential Q9 has been mooted, but nothing is official so far.
This decision to drop the A1 and Q2 should be good news for MINI as it’ll face fewer rivals. The next Countryman might not be so mini anymore since it will be mechanically related to the next BMW X1. The latter is said to stretch at 4.6 meters (181.1 inches) for the model codenamed “U11”. It’s scheduled to debut before the end of 2022 and the equivalent MINI is likely not far behind. Both will be put together in Leipzig, Germany, and will spawn fully electric versions.