Somewhere over the rainbow… there’s a munchkin driving one of Audi’s new bright and bold SUVs.
To attract a younger market, Audi have decided to start painting with every colour in their pencil case, proving that you can make people buy anything if you make it pretty enough. The Q2, Audi’s newest SUV, had its first unveiling in exclusive images on Auto Express. The smallest SUV in their new line-up – set to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show this March – is a radical design for the brand in an attempt to reach a market they have not considered up to now.
Due on sale this summer, the model is the first design under the direction of Marc Lichte, who replaced Wolfgang Egger in 2013 after being poached from Volkswagen. The car will only be available as a five door, with entry level models given front-wheel drive as standard and top spec models using Quattro all-wheel drive. The car is not expected to be a technological pioneer for the brand, though. A lot of the mechanical components have been carried over from previous models and the car is being designed with the awareness that their intended market may not be as delicate in their driving as previous Audi owners (read: young drivers who will scrape their door in the first week).
The excitement for the Q2 is primarily around Lichte’s designs, with expectations that he would deliver something more radical than the previous conservative designs of the Q7 and A4. The younger target market of the Q2 has allowed a freer stylistic approach than usual for Audi. Some of the distinguishing features include the chamfered cut-out along the waistline on each set of doors, a forward-stretching cabin and large rear shoulders. There will be splashes of colour and a splattering of eclectic trims and materials inside the car. Personalising the consumer experience even further, the model also allows everything from the interiors to the roof colour to be customised. A senior source at Audi is reported as telling Auto Express that they are keen “to characterise the Q2 as an urban street feature, not just a car. The customer can build the character of their own cars.” This is a continuing trend in the automotive industry, which seems to be replicating the popularity of personalising and branding oneself through social media.
Pop culture vernacular used to have it that ‘you are what you eat.’ Now it’s more likely that ‘you are what you tweet’ but soon, if the automobile industry keeps on innovating, it could be ‘you are what you… beep.’