Audi releases details on Q3 compact SUV

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Audi recently released full details on its new Q3 compact sport utility vehicle. Slotting under the Q5 within Audi's Q series crossover SUV lineup, the Q3 is set to go on sale in Germany this June. Unfortunately, there hasn't been any word yet on whether the new Audi will go on sale in North America. Still, as BMW's X1 compact SUV and Land Rover's Evoque compact will soon go on sale here, it's hard to see why Audi wouldn't do the same with the Q3.

Upon its market release, the Q3 will feature two TFSI gasoline engines and one TDI diesel. All engines feature four cylinders with two-litre capacity. The TFSI engines are said to deliver 170 horsepower and 211 horsepower respectively, while the TDI diesel generates a respectable 177 horsepower. Torque figures among the three engines is said to range from between 206 pound-feet to an impressive 280 pound-feet. Audi's famous quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system will be standard on Q3s outfitted with one of the three aforementioned engine choices. Additionally, Audi's Electronic Stability Program (ESP) will also be offered.

While the Q3's styling has already been criticized for looking too much like its big brother, the Q5, which debuted quite a while back in 2008, whereas in comparison its competitors, BMW's X1 and Land Rover's Evoque, have been lauded for each offering their own unique look, it should be noted that Audi's current design language is one of the reasons its sales are so strong. Yes, the new Q3 has the futuristic, elegant body styling that's characteristic of other Audis on sale today. Those edgy headlights and the big, brash grille should do well to please prospective buyers. The familiar exterior styling of the Q3 also yields a drag coefficient of 0.32 which is said to considerably enhance the vehicle's fuel economy while reducing wind noise.

Inside, the look of the Q3 is typical Audi, the interior looks as luxurious and well equipped as the more expensive models in the Audi range. It's dominated by black surfaces, but it doesn't at all look dull, or boring. In fact, the metallic-looking trim helps to freshen and modernize the cabin.

Technological features on the Q3 include GPS, an Audi music interface, and a 14-speaker Bose surround sound system with illuminated woofers. Audi also outfits the Q3 with its Multi Media Interface (MMI) that includes the now familiar rotating knob on the centre console and also a seven-inch colour screen that's said to produce 3D images. The MMI system is also claimed to be able to process whole-word voice commands.

The Q3 can even correct the steering if drivers veer out of their lanes, and the park assist feature can control the steering wheel as the car reverses into right-angle, or even parallel parking spaces.

So, with a host of impressive technological features, ample powertrains, and what we can now call classic Audi styling, the Q3 makes for a compelling package. It should only be a matter of time before the latest Audi Q ship reaches North American shores.

The Audi Q3 will make its official debut at the 2011 Auto Shanghai which runs from April 21st to 28th.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Audi, 2012, Q3, $30,000 - $39,999, $40,000 - $49,999, Compact,

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