In an attempt to compete head to head with BMW's entry level X1 CUV, the German automaker Audi have come up with the Q3 compact crossover, based on the A3 hatchback. Bringing the 2007 Cross Coupe Quattro concept to life, the Q3 small SUV will be built atop the same platform as the Tiguan and will be offered in both two and four wheel drive variants. The Q3's engine line up will include a 2.0 Liter TDI turbo diesel making anywhere from 138 HP up to 168 HP, as well as the 2.0 Liter TFSI unit from the hot hatch VW Golf GTI cranking out a total of 207 HP.
In the past, Audi has dazzled the crowds in Detroit with a number of vehicles, but in 2012, they have opted to only bring a Q3 Vail Concept equipped for the winter season. The concept was named after the famous winter sports venue in the United States and has been designed for young fans of winter sports who love skiing or snowboarding.
The Audi Q3 Vail is painted in a very cool Energy Red combined with add-on body parts in a matte gray quartz-based paint and vertical struts made from aluminum. The most striking elements, however, are the flared wheel arches and running boards, which Audi will incorporate into the extensive range of Q3 accessories. The front roof-rail support integrates compact, energy-efficient, wide-angled LED lights that illuminate the area around the Audi Q3 Vail. The concept sits on 8.5 J x 20 five-arm wheels.
For the interior, Audi is offering a combination of black, gray, and red. The headlining is made from titanium gray Alcantara and large parts of the interior, including the carpet, are black and edged with narrow strips of red velvet-finish leather.
The Q3 Vail Concept is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder TFSI engine with direct injection and turbocharging that generates an output of 314 HP and 295.02 lb-ft of torque. The power is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The concept will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds and can hit a top speed of 162.80 mph.
Now that Audi has released the Q3 SUV out on the market, people have started talking about a sportier version primed to deliver some 300 HP. A prototype of this model was secretly displayed at a press event in Switzerland and it was powered by the 2.5 liter TFSI engine currently found in the Audi RS3 . Now, it looks as though we’ve caught a few glimpses of this hotter model as it took its turn around the Nurburgring.
The 300 HP turbocharged five cylinder engine hidden under the hood of the hotrod Q3 produces a good 90 HP over the standard Q3 , a boost provided by the added ventilated brake discs and new aerodynamic package. This engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch transmission and its power will be sent to all four wheels using Audi’s quattro system. The only thing left to uncover is the name of this new, more powerful Q3. Will it be the S, RS, or the plainly put Q3 2.5 TFSI? Only time will tell.
With just a few days before its official debut at the Shanghai Auto Show, Audi ’s has unveiled the official details on their smallest SUV in the line-up, the Q3 . At least the smallest at the moment, as it will be followed by the Q1 in the future years.
The Audi Q3 weights 3,307 lbs and measures 4.39 meters in 14.4 ft, 6.0 ft in width, and 5.25 ft in height, while the luggage compartment offers 16.24 to 48.2 cu ft of capacity. The Q3 will be available with all the latest technologies, including the MMI navigation plus – a hard drive navigation system – and the Bose surround sound system, with handsomely illuminated woofers up front.
Customers will have the chance to choose from three engines: one TDI and two TFSI units, with power ranging from 140 HP to 211 HP. A new diesel engine will be offered at a later date and will deliver an impressive fuel economy of 45.23 US mpg.
In Germany sales will begin in June at a price of 29,900 euro, or about $43,000 at the current exchange rates.
Updated 04/13/2011: This review has been updated with the official details and images on the car. Hit the jump to read more about the Q3.
When BMW launched the X6 out on the market, many members of the press highly doubted that this "sports activity coupe" would stand a chance at success, but the customers spoke and the X6 turned out to be more successful than BMW itself expected. Then, soon after the surprising success of the X6, Acura brought their own version of the X6 and now Audi has announced plans to build their own version of the crossover to serve as competition to the original.
When talking about the X6 in an interview with Inside Line, Audi Group Design’s Wolfgang Egger said: "It has been a big success in China, where it’s become a second car driven by women. There, it’s a female sports car." He then added that Audi’s Q3 (pictured above) is just enough to serve as competition for the BMW, but he also said that Audi could do better. How much better is yet to be seen.
Egger also gave InsideLine some insight on other models in the Audi lineup. He said that the A1 line-up would include a five-door hatchback, a 180-HP S1 , and a cabriolet. As for the Quattro concept , Egger said that it "wasn’t dead," but has yet to be confirmed for production.
It has been a very long time since we last heard about the upcoming Audi Q3, but with BMW launching the X1 small-SUV there was something to be expected from the four ringed automaker.
Prceeded by the Cross Coupe Quattro concept from the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show, the next Audi Q3 will go into production starting in 2011 at SEAT’s Martorelli plant in Barcelona.
The Q3 SUV will be built on the same platform as the Tiguan CUV and will be offered in both two and four-wheel drive versions. The engine line up will include 2.0 Liter TDI turbo diesel making either 138 HP or 168 HP, as well as the 2.0 Liter TFSI unit from the Golf GTI pumping out up to 207 HP.
The Volkswagen Group loves to get the most out of every platform, so it’s no surprise that Audi confirmed production plans for the Q3 small SUV . Making the most of the compact platform, the Audi Q3 will be to A3 just like the Tiguan is to the Golf . In fact, the Q3 will be built at the VW Group’s Martorell, Spain, facility where another platform sharer is already being built, the Seat Leon .
Like the rest of Audi’s SUV lineup, we expect this one to carry the quattro all-wheel drive system and have some sporty handling characteristics. No engine choices have been announced, but it will likely include the 2.0-liter turbocharged unit that currently tops the Tiguan range.
Although no sales plans have been announced, out of the all variations of the A3 lineup (including S3 and RS3 ), the Q3 is likely bound for the SUV-loving U.S.
The SUV segment has known a constant success even since its debut. Currently many sub-segments are emerging, one of the latest being the compact SUV. By 2010 most of the important producers will be featuring such a model. As shown to us by the recently presented Cross Coupe concept, Audi has such a project going on, and logically it should be launched in the next three years and marketed as the Q3.