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Audi Crosslane Coupe Concept Debut

A baby luxury crossover you're allowed to hold your breath for.


What's New

It's officially called the "Audi Crosslane Coupe Concept." But like a schoolgirl finding out her best friend's secret crush, Audi can't keep a secret. Hence, the Q2—an itty-bitty SUV that slots, matryoshka-like, underneath the Q3 and Q5 cute-utes in Audi's lineup. (Could a Q4 inexplicably come forth? Don't act like you'd be surprised.)

The Crosslane--er, Q2--has just two doors nestled within its chunky styling, previewing Audi's future design direction: angular one-piece grilles flanked by skinny headlights, which are just as trendy as their jean counterparts. Yes, it's a targa, and while the removable roof section might not make it into production, how cool would it be if it did? Oh, and it's a hybrid as well, which Audi says should return a theoretical 256.8 mpg. If you buy one, your coolness should theoretically return alongside it.

Who It's For

The super-small SUV segment contains a mix of premium and volume carmakers alike; Audi intends to taking on the Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke with the Q2. Expect Audi to do so with a price premium, lots of technology, and lots of LEDs. Audi understandably wants young kids to go surfing with it, and possibly reenact a Beach Boys video.

Key Features

Something this small ought to be fuel-efficient—and Audi went the plug-in hybrid route with it, or at least it did so with the concept.
  • Three engines working tandem: a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder TFSI, an electric motor, and a traction motor for torque, with an average output of 174 horsepower
  • The ability to drive up to 53 miles, at 80mph, on electric power only, at which time the gasoline engine takes over
  • An aluminum space frame chassis with carbon fiber reinforcement panels, which costs and weighs less than other construction methods
  • Audi connect, which allows drivers to forego this whole unpleasant driving/self-preservation business by accessing Twitter and Facebook while on the road
  • Chunky, Judge Dredd styling that looks like a 12-year old's interpretation of a Tonka truck

What We Think

The tech is pretty solid-sounding. But let's face it: The German companies play with niches like floodwater, spreading themselves into every possible nook and cranny without due regard for purpose. If the Q2 really does make it into production, it'll be a miracle if it comes with half the stuff mentioned above, and doesn't end up being another needlessly tall fashion accessory purveyed by selfish drivers on both coasts.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: Paris 2012

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