AUDI Q2: NEAT, PETITE AND SASSY

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Audi’s Q2 SUV is set to become the big ticket summer item when it goes on sale in February.

IT’S ALMOST HERE, the cool car for a hot summer and a warm autumn, the sexy thang from Audi that will get your bits wet and make you smile.

“It” is the Q2 (or should that be Q-tee?) and rather than actually being here it is more like “almost here” if you accept that “almost” means sometime next February.

Regardless of the timing it will be well worth the wait because this sub-compact SUV really is Audi’s coolest car of the last five years, cooler than the R8 and TT sportsters and way to good-looking.

Put another way, if this car was your boyfriend you wouldn’t let it go out by itself at night.

Sadly, Audi would only let me look at the car because (a) it is the only one in the country and (b) it is left-hand-drive and (c) because I’d already sucked-down a few Little Creatures while I was waiting my turn to look.

But it is gorgeous and so easy on the eye with lines that are a sweet mix of sharp angles and coupe styling highlighted with delicately sculpted scallop lines on the shoulders from the windscreen to the rear pillar.

It has some muscle in its looks, too, with a wheel at each corner giving it an air of bulldog tenacity blending with that beautifully proportioned superstructure atop it. And, dammit, everything fits perfectly with everything else.

The wheelbase is right, the nose-to-cabin proportions are right, sill to shoulder and shoulder to roof dimensions are spot-on and even the wide rear pillar and slightly sloping semi-coupe roofline looks the goods.

Inside? It looks a little bit “Audi-familiar” but is different at the same time and while it has enough standard equipment to keep even fussy buyers happy it can be given the full tart with options that include Audi’s wonderful Virtual Cockpit – which turns the main instrument panel into a huge satellite navigation screen, a Head-Up Display and a panoramic sunroof.

And let’s not forget the interior lighting pack giving drivers a choice of 10 trim lighting colours highlighting dash, doors and centre console. My favourite is the toxic green.

Q2 inherits well, grabbing a lot of the cool features from big brother Q7 and the uber sexy TT coupe for its options list.

Which means it will be possible to have Q2 with a full infotainment system, driver assist systems such as Side Assist (it warns against opening doors if something is approaching from behind), Lane Assist (to guide the car back into its lane should it start to wander), radar-guided cruise control with stop and go feature and pedestrian protection (autonomous braking) that works at up to 85km/h.

So what will buyers get when they don’t want to pay extra to sex-up their Q-tee?

The Australian range will start with two variants, a front-wheel-drive model powered by a 110 kilowatt, 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine and an all-wheel-drive ‘quattro’ model using a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel for propulsion.

A third variant, a quattro powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine will join the model mix around the middle of 2017. No manual gearbox though because all Aussie Q2s will be automatic.

And while Audi is yet to make public Q2’s final detail it is known the small SUV will get a big equipment list so expect it to debut with 17-inch alloy wheels, the company’s MMI navigation unit, smartphone interface and reversing camera all standard.

To give the car even more appeal to a distinctly different demographic Audi will, for the first time, let buyers do a bit of customisation with the colour palette. The broad rear pillars, for example, can be ordered in silver, white or two shades of grey, ditto the side skirts, wheel arch mouldings and bumper inserts.

The price will be right, too and with a $41,100 (plus on-roads) start up this car will have more chance of success than President Malcolm’s gay marriage plebiscite.

The really good thing about the new Q2? That superbly sexy styling is likely to set Audi’s SUV design trend for the next generation and that is sure to get a big “Amen!” from anyone who has tried to understand the styling of the Q3 model.

Seriously, February cannot get here soon enough.

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