The mini-SUV sets the pace — watch for edgy polygons.
Audi's Q2 previews a new, sharp-edged style for future SUVs from the German brand.
"What you see here is the new Q face," says Matthias Fink, the 33-year-old who designed the exterior of the Q2, the sub-$40,000 mini-SUV that will reach Australian showrooms early in 2017.
Over the past decade the so-called single-frame grille has become Audi's visual trademark. "But now is the time for us to differentiate between A, Q and R," says Fink, referring to the cars, SUVs and sportsters in Audi's line-up.
"All the Qs that are coming will have a similar kind of single frame, with this octagon," he says, indicating the chamfered bottom corners of the Q2 grille — never mind that it looks more six-sided.
"What's special on this car, and what's special also for our new Q models, is that we don't want to make the bonnet so long. So we created a short and wide bonnet. It's more rugged, more robust.
Next in line for the polygon treatment is the all-new Q5 medium-size SUV.
"What is really SUV-ish for Audi, and this shows what the coming SUVs will have, is the size and the proportion of the roof-pillar.
"The other highlight is our edgy, geometric design language, and you find it everywhere on the car. We call it the polygon. The polygon is the main theme ... the signature."
Next in line for the polygon treatment is the all-new Q5 medium-size SUV. The current model has been a hit with Australians. In 2015 it was the brand's second most popular model here, outsold only by the A3 hatchback.
To be revealed in the latter half of the year, possibly at the Paris motor show in September, the Q5 will launch in Australia after the Q2.
The styling also will feature on a battery-powered SUV — with a promised 500km driving range between recharge — scheduled for production in 2018. It will be called Q6, adding a new badge to the line-up.
As the name indicates, the Q6 will slot between the recently renewed Q7 and the coming Q5. It will share its basic chassis with them but will be modified for electrified drivetrains, according to Audi technical development chief Stefan Knirsch.
"It's prepared also for plug-in hybrid but we believe that this car should only be a battery-electric vehicle, or a fuel-cell vehicle," he says.
Audi Australia will consider launching the Q6 here, even in the absence of incentives used in the US and Europe to encourage motorists to adopt the technology.
What do you think of the new polygon design? Tell us in the comments below.