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Spanish-built Audi Q3 compact crossover
This summer with prices from 29,900 euros

New Audi Q3 compact crossover: front view.

Audi's Q3 can tow a trailer weighing up to 2.0 tons (4,400 lb).

16 April 2011: German luxury car brand Audi is preparing the launch of its new, compact Q3 crossover this June, with prices starting from 29,900 euros (Germany).

Fitting under the midsize Q5 and large Q7 crossovers, the new Q3 brings Audi into a new market segment, besides the compact A3 brother.

The Q3 aims to play the role of a versatile lower-medium sized luxury crossover for everyday life, a notch above its platform companion, the VW Tiguan... that is, in direct competition with the new Range Rover Evoque and BMW X1.

The new Q3 will be assembled at the SEAT factory in Martorell, near Barcelona, Spain. The German VW group includes the Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and Porsche car brands (and a fifth of Suzuki).

 Body

New Audi Q3 luxury compact crossover: profile.

Tornado line dividing the side underneath the Q3 windows.

On the outside, the design follows Audi's coupe-like styling with elegant lights and a flat-set rear window, while the luggage compartment still offers a volume of 460 to 1,365 litres (16.24 to 48.2 cu ft) with the split rear seat backrests folded down (a roof rail is standard).

The Audi Q3 is 4.39 meters in length (14.4 ft), 1.83 meters in width (6.0 ft), and 1.60 meters (5.25 ft) in height – roof rail included. Its drag coefficient of 0.32 is very good for a crossover shaped body. Viewed from the side, a "tornado line" divides the side underneath the windows.

The basic Q3 version weighs less than 1,500 kilograms (3,307 lb, front-wheel drive version), depending on equipment of course. The weight gains are partly due to the aluminium engine hood and tailgate, in addition to the ultra-high-strength steels in the passenger compartment.

New Audi Q3 compact crossover: rear view.

Audi's Q3 coupe-like styling with a flat-set rear window.

Audi says that its Q3 can also tow a trailer weighing up to 2.0 metric tons (4,400 lb)

 Engines

The Audi Q3 will be available with four engine choices. First, two gasoline engines and one TDI engine; a second TDI engine will appear a little later. All of the four engines will have a displacement of 2.0 litres, direct fuel injection, turbocharging, the start-stop and the energy recovery systems.

The 2.0 TFSI delivers either 125 kW (170 hp, 168 bhp) or 155 kW (211 hp, 208 bhp). The latter version propels the Q3 from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.9 seconds, up to a top speed of 230 km/h (142.92 mph).

The 2.0 TDI is available with 130 kW (177 hp, 174 bhp); a version with 103 kW (140 hp, 138 bhp) is to come a little later. The front-wheel drive, version of the 103 kW (140 hp) engine averages less than 5.2 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres (45.23 US mpg, 54.29 UK mpg, 19.23 kms / litre).

 Transmission

New Audi Q3 premium compact crossover: inside (driver side).

Audi Q3 dashboard in a horizontal layout.

Both TFSI engines and the stronger of the TDI units will be get the quattro permanent all-wheel drive with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch which sends power from the front axle to the rear one when necessary.

The Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp, 138 bhp) will roll off the assembly line with front-wheel drive and – just like the Q3 2.0 TFSI quattro with 125 kW (170 hp, 168 bhp) – with a six-speed manual transmission.

The 130 kW (177 hp, 174 bhp) TDI engine and the 155 kW (211 hp, 208 bhp) TFSI combine quattro drive with a 7even-speed S tronic. Gears can also be shifted via optional paddles on the steering wheel. When the driver selects efficiency mode in the optional Audi drive select system, the S tronic disengages a clutch while the car is coasting and allows it to roll freely – which further enhances fuel efficiency.

 Interior

Inside, the dashboard comes in a horizontal layout with an optional colour display (seven inches diagonally) on the instrument panel, a first in the Q series. Five colour concepts are available for the interior: black, grey, beige, and two shades of brown.

New Audi Q3 premium compact crossover: inside (passenger side).

Five colour concepts for the Q3 interior, including black.

The upholstery is available in three fabric and three leather designs (all equipment and data refer to the model range offered in Germany). For the inlays, there are four optional versions – including open-pored larch inlays and new silvery aluminium inlays with supplementary wire mesh and a 3D look. The S line sports package offers an additional inlay with the entire interior in black.

The chorus sound system with an AUX-IN input is standard in the Audi Q3, as are the air conditioner and occupant restraint systems. Options cover a set of infotainment components, with at the top, the large MMI navigation plus – a hard drive navigation system – and the Bose surround sound system, with illuminated woofers up front. An online Bluetooth car phone will follow, with a WLAN hotspot to provide the Q3 with full Internet connectivity.

 Options

include an on-board computer with efficiency program, an ambient lighting package with many LEDs, a panoramic glass roof, a storage package, sports seats, electrically adjustable and heated seats, an electronic key for entering the vehicle and starting the engine at the touch of a button, two-zone automatic air conditioning, tinted rear windows, and a three-spoke leather steering wheel in a new Q-specific look.

Other options include adaptive light technology (illuminates parts of the corners when swerving) for the xenon plus headlights and the high-beam assistant, an enhanced parking assistant, a luggage compartment package, a front-passenger seat with a folding seat back, a reversible loadliner, a reversible mat, a loading-sill protector made of stainless steel, a load-through hatch in the rear seat backrest and a ski bag.

 Chassis

The chassis adopts a four-link rear suspension to handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The electronic stabilization program (ESP) integrates an electronic differential lock, which – at the vehicle’s cornering limit – regulates the distribution of drive torques to the wheels via minor braking. The ESP also offers trailer stabilization (all versions).

New Audi Q3 premium compact crossover: ground clearance.

Ground clearance of 17 centimetres (6.69 in).

Thanks to its ground clearance of 17 centimetres (6.69 in), the Q3 can also tackle rough terrain. It comes with electromechanical power steering, ventilated brakes discs at the front and electromechanical parking brake.

The Audi Q3 is basically equipped with 16-inch lightweight alloy wheels fitted with 215/65 tires; the top-of-the-line engines are available with 17-inch wheels. Options include wheel sizes between 17 and 19 inches, some of which are quattro GmbH products.

Audi drive select is optionally available for all Q3 engine types. It accesses the accelerator and steering. When ordered with the equipment options S tronic, adaptive light and Audi adaptive cruise control, the driver can vary the function of these systems between the comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency modes. In efficiency mode, the air conditioner and cruise control operate with the fuel saving priority.

Optionally available at a later time, the hill hold assist system maintains a constant vehicle speed while driving downhill.

 Audi connect

Within the available range of infotainment technologies, the connectivity package includes the Audi music interface for integrating mobile playback devices and a GPS interface, which the customer can activate at once or at a later date.

The optional Bose surround sound system integrates 14 speakers, and the woofers up front illuminate when the interior darkens. The high-end infotainment cornerstone is the large MMI plus, a hard drive navigation system. Its manually extendable seven-inch colour screen displays high-resolution 3D images; the system can also process whole-word voice input.

New Audi Q3 premium compact crossover: rear, driving shot.

A WLAN hotspot to enhance Internet connectivity on the road.

At a later date, it will become possible to link the MMI navigation plus system with the online Bluetooth car phone, which integrates a UMTS module. With the Audi connect, the Internet will be on board the Q3 – including special services. A WLAN hotspot enables mobile terminal devices to enhance Internet connectivity on the road.

With the online Bluetooth car phone, a route chosen by the driver can be portrayed on a Google Earth map. Audi’s online traffic information helps drivers with the traffic situation ahead. Information is up-to-the-minute and precise because data is generated from the traffic.

 Assistance

Assistance systems for the Q3 include the Audi side assist, which employs radar to help drivers change lanes and Audi active lane assist to help remain in the lane by slightly correcting steering, if necessary. The optional driver information system’s screen shows important road signs thanks to the camera-based speed limit display.

Five systems help drivers park. The park assist system does the steering while the vehicle is reversing into right-angle or parallel spaces; if necessary, it will execute several steering steps. Its twelve ultrasonic sensors detect obstacles such as concrete pillars, even if they are off to the vehicle’s side. The assistant’s software memorizes the obstacles’ locations and alerts the driver to them before the parking space is vacated.

 

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