One of the lesser-known models in Audi's vast range, the Q2 was launched in 2016 before getting a mid-cycle facelift about four years later. It won't live to see a second generation as the German luxury brand has other priorities, specifically focusing on bigger cars with higher profit margins. For this reason, the A1 supermini will also bow out after the current generation runs its course.
The announcement about axing its smallest crossover was made earlier this week by Audi CEO Markus Duesmann in an interview with Handelsblatt (subscription required): "We have decided not to build the A1 anymore, and there will be no successor model from the Q2 either. We have also realigned Audi as a premium brand. We will limit our model range at the bottom and expand it at the top."
Gallery: 2021 Audi SQ2 facelift
We should point out the Q2 is not only built at home in Ingolstadt, but also in China where it goes by the name of Q2L to reflect its longer wheelbase for greater rear legroom. In addition, the baby crossover sold in the People's Republic comes in an E-Tron flavour with all-electric propulsion. The zero-emissions model is only sold locally and has a 38-kWh battery pack good for 165 miles (265 kilometres) of range based on the local NEDC test cycle.
Elsewhere, Audi's entry-level Q model is offered in a potent SQ2 specification with standard Quattro and a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 296 bhp and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-metres) of torque sent via a dual-clutch, seven-speed automatic transmission. The performance version is essentially a more luxurious version of the Volkswagen T-Roc R, which was facelifted in November 2021.
The A1 and Q2 will be retired after the current-generation models when the A3 will effectively become the entry point into Audi's global lineup. Further down the line, the company will launch its last new vehicle equipped with a combustion engine in 2026 before ending production of ICE cars in 2033. However, the assembly of petrol-fuelled vehicles could continue for a few more years in China, depending on demand.
Meanwhile, the lineup will grow to include the Q6 E-Tron due to be unveiled before the end of the year as Audi's first product based on the PPE platform co-developed with Porsche. In China, a Volkswagen Atlas-based SUV is said to arrive in 2022 with the rather confusing Q6 moniker. Also coming this year is the facelifted E-Tron, believed to change its name to Q8 E-Tron to better reflect its positioning in the range.