With the crossover craze growing, German luxury carmaker Audi has shown its future styling direction with the local release of its smallest SUV, the Q2.

Described as a ground-breaking model, the Q is defined as “a sporty urban all-rounder with youthful styling and high levels of functional technology”.

Aimed at competitors such as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Lexus NX, it will not (initially) have quattro drive – relying on edgy styling, technology and connectivity systems to vie for a place in this highly contested segment.

Available in 1.4T FSI Sport guise with manual or S-tronic transmission, 1.0T FSI (85 kW/200 Nm) or 2.0TDI (105 kW/350 Nm) guise, sport trim is optional on the 1.0T FSI, while the TDI is only available with S-tronic transmission.

Based on the MQB platform, the Q’s distinctive styling is sharp and angular, and its profile is accentuated by concave shapes, prominent wheel arches, and a high window line.

This theme continues inside, with clean, simple lines and outstanding ergonomics. A Virtual Cockpit instrument panel and MMI radio plus infotainment system is standard, but systems such as pre-sense front radar – a first in this segment – are optional.

The Q2 handles extremely well, but ride quality suffers with the optional 18-inch rims and low-profile tyres (16” is standard). The 1.4 TFSI (110 kW and 250 Nm) has noticeable turbo lag below 2,000 rpm. Equipped with S-tronic the lag is still prevalent, but somewhat mitigated.

At R511,000 for the 1.4T FSI manual and R529,500 for the S-tronic, the Q2 is pricey. However, it is funky and sexy – good selling points in this segment.