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Audi A1 and Q2 set to be discontinued as German brand moves upmarket

The Audi Q2 is currently Audi’s least expensive SUV, but it faces the axe along with the smaller A1 hatchback.

The Audi Q2 is currently Audi’s least expensive SUV, but it faces the axe along with the smaller A1 hatchback.

Published Feb 9, 2022


Ingolstadt - The Audi A1 and Q2 form the entry point for the premium brand’s respective hatchback and SUV line-ups, but now Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has confirmed that both models will be discontinued after the current generations have reached the end of their lifespans.

While the A1 and Q2 were conceived at a time when Audi wanted to make its brand more accessible to the masses, it appears that the company has now decided to focus on its upmarket models.

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Duesmann confirmed the discontinuation of the A1 and Q2 in an interview with German publication Handelsblatt this week. He said the company would limit its model range at the bottom end and expand it at the top.

2020 Audi A1

The CEO had already spoken of the A1’s demise in a discussion with Automotive News Europe last year. According to ANE, increasingly stringent European emissions regulations are forcing carmakers to rethink their small car strategies. It appears that the only way to meet these targets is to use hybrid electrification technology and while this cost can largely be absorbed in a bigger and more profitable model, the business case becomes somewhat tricky when you’re trying to get a small car to comply as the profit margins here are much thinner.

But how much harder would it be to become an Audi owner once the A1 and Q2 are ditched? Based on today’s car prices, buyers would be looking at a premium of around R130 000 given that the A1 currently starts at R447 500, while its larger A3 sibling kicks off at R575 000. The Audi Q2 is priced from R527 400, while the Q3 starts at R618 000. At this stage there don’t appear to be any plans to discontinue the Audi A3 or Q3 models.

It remains to be seen whether BMW and Mercedes-Benz will axe their smaller models, but it’s certainly not out of the question.

It’s also not out of the question that Audi might return to the small car market once electric cars have become more mainstream, once battery prices have dropped sufficiently of course.

Audi is going all-in on battery-cars, previously stating that it would launch its last internal combustion powered model in 2026, with a view to possibly retiring all ICE models by 2033. The carmaker is also launching five electric models in South Africa this year. Click here to read more about them.

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