Audi has taken the wraps off its smallest ‘soft-roader’ contender, the Q3. The new car will be launched at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show, and will be available in British showrooms this November with prices starting at approximately £25,000.
The Q3 will join big brothers Q5 (BMW X3 equivalent) and Q7 (Toyota Landcruiser size – and some...) in the Ingolstadt company’s line-up of off-roaders, and will draw heavily, no doubt, from the closely related VW Tiguan. It will, of course, be beautifully built and have Audi’s trademark, standard-setting interior.
Three engines will be available from launch, all with stop-start and energy recuperation systems: a 2.0 TFSI petrol (170PS); a 2.0 TFSI petrol (211PS); and a good old diesel 2.0 TDI (177PS). The ‘S tronic’ twin-clutch transmission will be available for the most powerful petrol and diesel versions and, in its latest iteration, the clutch is disengaged during coasting phases to reduce the draw on the engine.
Shortly after the Q3’s initial launch, there will be a ‘school run special’, in the form of a 2.0 TDI 140PS front-wheel-drive-only model that will be 'efficiency-focused with sub-1500kg kerb weight and 54.3mpg capability'.
In line with other new Audis, the Q3 will be jam-packed with (optional, no doubt) new technology, including: new generation MMI navigation plus, online Bluetooth car phone enabling access to Google services such as Google Earth, WLAN connectivity, Audi drive select with efficiency mode, parallel and perpendicular park assist.
Text: Steve Wakefield
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