Audi Trademarks Q1, A2 and RS2: Flood of Even Smaller Premium Cars Coming?

It's no secret that Audi is doing rather well with its new A3 lineup, which is selling like hotcakes in Europe and America. The secret to their success seems to be a very diverse lineup of models sold under one nameplate. For example, you could order an S3 sedan with a powerful 2-liter engine pushing 300 hp or go for an A3 Cabriolet with a meager 1.6-liter TDI diesel making only 110 hp.
Audi Crosslane Coupe 1 photo
Photo: Audi
Most are made in Hungary and on September 11, Gyor reported that it has just finished its 100,000th car at a new factory. However, that's only a drop in the ocean when compared to what Audi has achieved in the supermini or subcompact segment.

With just one model available in two body styles, they've sold and built 500,000 A1 hatchbacks. That's in just over 4 years with a car that nobody had ever heard of before 2010 and which is based on a VW Polo platform.

Not surprisingly, the Germans are probably think about adding more small cars… a lot more.

We made a quick check of the German patent registry and found that Ingolstadt has trademarked not one but three familiar names. There's the A2, which has been discontinued for a while, the RS2, which we'll get to later, and the Q1, an entry level crossover.

Trademarks mean absolutely nothing. They're just a way of ensuring Alfa Romeo can't say "all our cars are called Q5 starting tomorrow". But this could also be a glimpse into Audi's future lineup.

Let's start with the Audi Q1

This idea has been floating around for a number of years. It's said to arrive in 2016 and would be a rival to the Nissan Juke. It might sound like a ridiculous idea, but Audi has promised it will have 60 different cars on sale by 2020 and we're still missing about 10 of them. The Q1 was applied for a trademark in April and approved about two weeks ago on October 23rd.

Even though it looks cute and adorable the Nissan Juke is a bit of a dark horse. A full-spec model model can cost as much as €30,000 and even the base car with a manual gearbox and 1.6-liter engine rivals the Audi A1 in price. Makes sense to buy an Audi rival instead, doesn't ti?

The Q1 is expected to be based on the MQB platform or at least adopt all the technologies developed for it, including the latest engines and infotainment systems. Audi could play a huge role in the crossover market, which is growing at double-digit rates every year.

As for the A2 and RS2...

The A2 is protected by two patents, one of which is still pending and the other approved in August. If given the green light for production, it would revive a model that went out of production in 2005.

Even though it looks weird, we love the A2 for the many innovations it brought about. This compact MPV-styled supermini was made from aluminum and became available with two 3-cylinder diesel engines, a 1.2 and a 1.4 TDI. Both the Fabia and Polo owe it a debt of gratitude.

The RS2 belongs to one of the legends from Audi's past, an all-wheel drive performance Avant with a thirst for fun. It would be a sacrilege to stick the RS2 badge on a performance version of the A2. But Audi had no problems giving the equally famous S1 name to a supermini.

The RS2 trademark was applied in May, just one day before that of the S1, and is still pending approval. It might happen, but it doesn't sound like a good idea to us.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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