The Volkswagen AG premium brand has no option but to christen its upcoming compact crossover as the Q1, after Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – who owns the Q2 moniker – has denied usage permission.
The Q2 name is currently held by the Alfa Romeo brand and even though Audi tried to obtain it, they will have to settle with the Q1 designation for their upcoming compact crossover. Audi’s beef with the denomination is the resemblance to the A1 minicar, which is based on Volkswagen’s Polo platform and is a smaller car than the upcoming SUV. According to sources that talked to Automotive News, Audi tried unsuccessfully to approach FCA – receiving no answer to their query – even though company insiders claim the German automaker was ready to offer significant compensation for the moniker. Audi makes use of the “Q” badge to refer to its SUV lineup – a nod to the Quattro all-wheel drive system used for the powertrains. The range today includes the compact Q3, midsize Q5 and large Q7, with Audi CEO Rupert Stadler acknowledging earlier this month the automaker was also hard at work to develop a Q8 flagship.
Late in December Audi also disclosed it would move to start production of its new Q1 crossover its Ingolstadt, Germany, plant sometimes in 2016, aiming to tap one of the fastest-growing auto segments across the globe. The new five-door Q1 would slot just below the Q3 and go after models such as the Mini Countryman, targeting European buyers from mid-2016 – with the possibility of also reaching China. A US version is unlikely though, as Audi’s executives believe the model would be too small to appeal to customers there.
Via Automotive News Europe
Note: Audi Q3 pictured