14th April, 2011
Audi is welcoming a new addition to its pavement-hopping portfolio, a smaller brother to the Q5 that will extend Audiâ€™s reach in the buoyant compact premium SUV market.
Measuring 4.39 metres in length and 1.83m wide, the new Q3 is close to the BMW X1 in size and 239mm shorter than Audiâ€™s own Q5. With its tasteful blend of familiar Audi styling cues combined with a raised stance and sloping roofline, this oneâ€™s likely to win some fans in the pavement park beauty contest.
Of course, itâ€™s packed with the very latest in efficient technology and design, even the basic model weighing less than 1500kg thanks to an aluminium bonnet and tailgate among other weight-saving measures. There are no surprises on the engine front, with two turbopetrol and two turbodiesel options, all direct injection four cylinder units displacing 2-litres and mated to idle-stop and energy recovery systems.
The 2.0 TFSI petrol is available in 125kW and 155kW guises, the latter propelling the Q3 from 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds, according to Audi, and to a top end of 230km/h.
The 2.0 TDI can be had with either 103kW or 130kW and economy is the key boast here with the former sipping under 5.2 litres per 100km, according to claims.
The chasis features the familiar four-link fully independent rear suspension, while the range-topping diesel and both petrol engines are mated to quattro all-wheel drive.
The range-topping petrol and diesel engines are fitted with Audiâ€™s seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox, while the two lower models get a six-speed manual.
On the dynamic front, Audiâ€™s drive select is available to adjust to various driving styles, as is Audiâ€™s adaptive damping system. Inside the Q3 features a smart-looking, driver-focussed dashboard and the interior is available in five colour schemes. Interior space seems reasonable and thereâ€™s even 460 litres worth of boot space with the rear seats in their normal position.
According to Audi, buyers can supplement the standard specification with numerous options â€œstraight from the luxury classâ€ but then thatâ€™s not news to anyone. Furthermore, Audi offers an entire set of infotainment components, spearheaded by the large MMI navigation plus – a hard drive navigation system – and the Bose surround sound system.
Soon itâ€™ll also offer an online Bluetooth car phone paired with a WLAN hotspot to provide the Q3 with full Internet connectivity, including Google Earth mapping displayed on the seven-inch colour screen. When theyâ€™ll launch the Q3 in Nigeria though, is anyoneâ€™s guess, but that canâ€™t be far off either.