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Audi Q2

RIGHT ON CUE |

Now refreshed after its original introduction four years ago, a rationalised line-up of the compact Audi Q2 has been released in South Africa – right on cue to take advantage of the burgeoning local compact SUV market… 

When first revealed in 2017 the Q2 spearheaded a new design direction for the Ingolstadt manufacturer by introducing a polygon motif to characterise the front design and the shoulder line. In addition, this motif is introduced to the rear of the attractive SUV, the smallest in the Audi range. 

The rear bumper now has an integrated angular diffuser insert with large pentagons on both sides and the front has been modified with distinctive shaping of the surfaces below the headlights, a slightly lower positioned Singleframe grille, and larger, pentagonal air inlets, affording the exterior a more distinctive profile.

The new design elements, with its corners and edges front and rear, means that the compact SUV is now 17 mm longer, while the remainder of its dimensions stays the same. As before, the line-up is available inclusive of three exterior trim levels – the basic version, Advanced and S line.

In the basic version, the lower body attachments are grained black; on the Advanced line they are Manhattan grey, and on the S line it matches the body colour. An optional black styling package is also available. Five new body colours – an attractive Apple green, Manhattan grey, Navarra blue, arrow grey, and turbo blue – have also been introduced.

Even the standard version has LED headlights, and Matrix LED headlights (with dynamic turn signals) are available as an option. LED technology is also offered for the rear lights but only on Advanced and S line models. 

In the basic model the interior standard or sport seats are available with fabric upholstery or a combination of leather and leatherette in black with rock grey accents, or with the S line interior package with rock grey stitching with embossed S logos on the seat backrests.

The Comfort Package includes an electric tailgate; 4-way lumbar support; seat heaters in front and two rear; USBs and the Tech Package offers MMI navigation plus; Audi smartphone interface and Audi virtual cockpit. The Black styling package includes a black Singleframe (only on Advanced and S line models), new bumper trim, mirrors, side blade, black 19-inch wheels and sports suspension.

The S line interior package (only on Advanced and S line models) includes inserts in matte brushed aluminium, S line emblems, black fabric headliner, and scuff plates with aluminium inserts in front, illuminated with “S” logos. The 405-litre luggage compartment can be expanded up to 1,050 litres.

Only one engine option

Initially, the Q2 range was introduced here with two engine options (a 1.0-litre and 1.4-litre) and overseas it is still available with a selection of petrol and diesel engines, including a 140 kW TFSI engine as well as quattro drive. 

However, the revamped range is now locally available with only one engine option – the 110kW version of the 1.4 TFSI, delivering 250 Nm of torque, coupled to an eight-speed Tiptronic gearbox that transfers power to the front wheels only. According to Audi, the Q2 35 TFSI is capable of sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and can reach a peak speed of 213 km/h.

In standard trim the Q2 comes with 16-inch wheels and the C-pillar blade in body colour and the Advanced trim line receives 17-inch wheels; blade in Manhattan grey; bumper in contrasting paint (grey finish); LED rear lights; sports seats and index fabric upholstery.

While the analog instrument is standard, the Audi Virtual Cockpit (available with  the Technology Package) includes a smartphone interface and MMI Navigation Plus, operated via a rotary push button on the centre tunnel, and with the contour ambient lighting package (with ten colours), the decorative inserts within the cabin can light up, adding even more flair to the cabin ambience.

At the launch in the Western Cape, we sampled the flagship S line model, kitted with 18-inch wheels, Platinum grey blades, a bumper with full paint finish, LED rear lights, sports seats, index fabric upholstery and sports suspension, rear parking aid; start/stop system with regenerative braking, as well as (optional) panoramic glass sunroof, tinted privacy glazing and electric tailgate.

As previously experienced, the perky 1.4-litre engine in the relatively light Q2 combines well with the smooth tiptronic ’box to make overtaking easy. The progressive steering and a sport suspension with 10 mm drop ensures successful handling on winding roads, and in comfort mode (one of five driving modes to choose from), the ride quality is above reproach.

In terms of standard specification, the updated Q2 compares well with the new, recently released Mercedes-Benz GLA, the updated Mini Countryman, the BMW X1, Volkswagen T-Roc and the Jeep Renegade, and is arguably the most efficiently designed and most attractive of the bunch.

It is, however, somewhat hampered by the lack of engine choice and an extensive list of expensive optional extras that can elevate the sticker price substantially. (How about a S2 version, Audi?). A limited number of special Launch Edition models is currently available for R519,500, inclusive of all taxes and a five-year Audi Freeway Plan.

Text: FERDI DE VOS | Images: AUDI SOUTH AFRICA

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