The all-new Audi Q2 launched to a gathering of international press in Switzerland last week, but Australian buyers will have to wait until early 2017 for the chance to drive Audi’s newest and smallest SUV.

Static photo, Colour: Tango Red

With the arrival of the Q2, Audi enters a brand-new vehicle segment; small premium SUVs – the fastest growing sector in the entire market and one that includes rivals like the new BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, both volume sellers for those German luxury carmakers.

Between 2014 and 2015 the segment grew by a massive 70 per cent, while the total SUV market rose by only 16 per cent over the same period. Medium luxury SUVs also grew at a similar rate, but even large SUVs recorded strong growth.

Audi Q2

Audi believes the Q2 will attract an even 50/50 split between male and female buyers, with strong sales coming from a broad age group between 25 and 64 years.

At 4190mm long, it's 200mm shorter than a Q3, and around 120mm shorter than an A3 Sportback - but clever packaging means it has 405 litres of load space in the boot with the rear seats in use, and up to 1050 litres when folded.

Although final Q2 pricing and specifications won’t be revealed until closer to the local launch early next year, Audi Australia’s General Manager Corporate Communications, Anna Burgdorf, has told journalists to expect the base-model offering to start from around $40,000 plus on-roads.

Audi Q2

It’s worth noting that entry-level for the larger Audi Q3 starts at $42,900 plus on-roads for the 1.4 TFSI (110kW), while the 2.0 TDI quattro (110kW) wears a price tag from $47,900.

Australia will kick off with three engines:  a 1.4 TFSI front-wheel drive with 110kW and 250Nm with cylinder on demand (COD), a 2.0 TFSI- quattro with 140kW and 320Nm and a 2.0-litre TDI quattro with 110kW and 340Nm of torque between 1900-3500 rpm.

While both 2.0-litre powertrains are paired with Audi’s newly-developed seven-speed dual-clutch transmission (S tronic), which uses wet clutches and is said to be faster and more refined, the entry 1.4 TFSI Q2 gets the current seven-speed dual-clutch (dry) gearbox.

Audi Q2

In terms of fuel consumption, Audi is yet to release official figures for the 2.0-litre powertrains, but claims as low as 5.2L/100km for the 1.4 TFSI COD – with standard wheels and tyres. CO2 emissions are down to 119g/km.

There are two trims available; Design and Sport lines.

The 1.4 TFSI comes standard with the Design Line; highlights of which include contrasting paint finish in Manhattan Grey, C-pillar blade in Manhattan Grey, 17-inch alloy wheels, Sports leather steering wheel with paddleshifters, standard front seats and inlays in Eloxal finish (orange, white) and knee pad painted.

Audi Q2

Both 2.0-litre drivetrains get the Sport Line trim, which comprises a full paint finish, C-pillar blade in Ice silver, 18-inch alloy wheels, Sport seats, Sport leather steering wheel with paddleshifters, Alloy optic interior, and the same Eloxal finish in red or yellow.

Standard equipment across the entire Q2 line-up for Australian cars will include Audi Connect, Progressive Steering, Bluetooth and voice control, Dual-zone climate control, MMI Navigation with seven-inch screen, Audi smartphone interface, front and rear parking sensors with rear-view camera and Audi pre sense city (auto braking).

Buyers will also be able to choose from an extensive options list; which Audi says will be bundled into various reasonably-priced packages. Highlights include Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit, ambient lighting (10 colours), electric tailgate, LED headlamps with dynamic rear indicators, head-up display, MMI Navigation plus and adaptive dampers.

Audi Q2

There’s also a suite of active systems available too, such as adaptive cruise control, Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist and cross traffic assist rear.

Audi says there is a staggering five million possible colour combinations for the Q2, though exterior paint finishes total just 12, including solid colours ibis white, brilliant black, Vegas yellow and new titanium grey.

Metallic paints are available in glacier white, nano grey, tango red, floret silver, mythos black and vibrant coral orange, which is exclusive to the Q2. Completing the colour palette are Daytona grey pearl and Ara Blue crystal effect.