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Audi teases Q1 baby SUV for 2016

Audi Q1 subcompact crossover sketch.

Audi has just confirmed one of its worst-kept secrets: they will put a small Q1 SUV into production. Teasing the new subcompact crossover with a single teaser design sketch, Audi said the Q1 will start rolling out of their Ingolstadt plant in Germany in 2016 to sit below the Q3, Q5 and Q7 in their range.

The teaser sketch shows some of the exaggerated ruggednes and aggressive styling of the Crosslane concept revealed at last year's Paris motor show.  And while you should expect the design to be toned down for the showroom, it does hint at a fresher look for their SUV line-up.

Audi hasn't released any details of drivetrains, but the Q1 is tipped to offer both front-wheel and all-wheel drive, and as we've previously reported, engine choices are likely to be a 67kW 1.4-litre petrol four-cylinder and a new 67kW 1.4-litre turbodiesel three-cylinder -- both mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. However there is also talk of a hotter SQ1 version with a 170kW 2.0-litre petrol unit, and a Q1 hybrid slated for 2018 with a 80kW 1.2-litre petrol engine paired with a 80kW electric motor.

And from the scant details Audi did provide with the teaser sketch, it sounds like the Q1 will not be the final addition to their SUV offerings. “The Audi Q1 is part of our broad-based SUV strategy,” Audi CEO Rupert Stadler said in the press statement. “It ... will round off our Q series at the bottom end.”

The statement added that Audi would increase its current line-up of 49 models to more than 60 by 2020, in the chase for annual global sales of two million. And that they expect their current 28 per cent of production devoted to SUVs to grow to 35 per cent by then. Still plenty of scope for a Q2, Q4, Q6 and maybe even a Q9 monster offroader, then

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott