Audi Q3 Vail emphasizes the fun side of winter

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Audi's Q3 Vail is a compact crossover sport utility vehicle that was on display recently at the North American International Auto Show and is well suited to the winter weather. Named in honour of the Vail Ski Resort in Vail, Colorado, the Q3 Vail is a squat and stylish SUV designed for those who love skiing and snowboarding.

The Q3 Vail is finished in bespoke Energy Red paint with golden pearlescent particles and sits on five-spoke, 20-inch wheels. Up front, there's a large, single-frame grille and matte grey finishes for the side mirrors and body cladding. Around the back, there's a brushed metallic diffuser with integrated twin exhaust tips. Of course, being a winter sports themed vehicle, the Q3 Vail also comes equipped with roof rails that are designed to accommodate skis and snowboards.

Stepping inside the cabin of the Q3 Vail reveals a titanium grey Alcantara headlining with contrasting black carpets and floor mats. The seats are finished in a combination of leather and fabric trim with bright red piping along the flanks. Red velvet-finish leather is used for the door trim and seats while black Nappa leather adorns the instrument panel. Titanium grey and steel grey accenting throughout the interior adds another degree of contrast to the red and black surfaces.

Audi's Multi Media Interface (MMI), which includes a navigation system, is also part of the Q3 Vail experience, as is a fold-out monitor that displays the current pitch and roll angles of the vehicle. Along the sidewall of the trunk, there's a charging station for flashlights, and a similar charging system is used in a cupholder between the front seats to power a specially-designed thermos flask, allowing drinks to be warmed or cooled.

Power for the Audi Q3 Vail comes from a turbocharged 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder TFSI engine with direct injection. It generates an impressive 314 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque - quite a lot for a compact vehicle. The plentiful power is good for a top speed of 262 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.5 seconds. The engine is mated to a 7-speed S-tronic transmission that can be controlled with paddle shifters mounted on the back of the leather-rimmed steering wheel. As expected, this winter-bound Audi features a permanent Quattro all-wheel-drive system for bounding through snow country.

While the Q3 Vail remains a theme vehicle, the Q3 itself is already available in Europe and Audi has confirmed that it will indeed be coming to the U.S. Questions abound, however, about availability in Canada, where the Q5 is currently Audi's smallest crossover SUV. No official announcement had been at press time, but given the Q3's confirmation for the U.S. it seems likely that the compact Audi will be Canada-bound as well.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Crossover, Audi, 2012, Q3 Vail Concept, Compact,

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