The new Audi Q3 looks much sportier than its predecessor. The Singleframe in octagon design and large side air inlets characterize the masculine front-end. Eight vertical bars divide up the radiator grille with its striking frame and reflect the SUV character. The headlights are narrow and run inwards with their wedge shape. Audi supplies them in three versions, all with LED technology. The top-of-the-line version are the Matrix LED headlights whose adaptive high beam intelligently illuminates the road. A highlight in the side view is the symmetrical lighting graphics of the headlights and rear lights. The shoulder line connects them from a styling perspective and provides an athletic overall impression with strong muscles over the wheel arches. The contours draw their inspiration from Audi’s quattro DNA and make the SUV seem even wider; the color-contrasting wheel arch trims emphasize the offroad look. Supported by a long roof edge spoiler, which also flanks the rear window at the side, the steeply raked D pillars of the body line also create an appearance of forward thrust.
Sporty character, taut lines, three-dimensionally styled elements – the interior continues the design of the exterior and echoes in many ways the brand’s full-size models. The instrument panel is divided into two levels: the top part includes the air vents; the bottom section incorporates the large octagonal area with its black-panel look. The instrument panel varies the motif of the Singleframe and is surrounded by a wide chrome strip. The high-gloss black trim surrounds the central element of the new operating concept: the MMI touch display. Together with the air conditioning controls underneath, it is tilted 10 degrees toward the driver. The pushbutton module for the lighting functions, which replaces the rotary control on the predecessor model, is slotted into the panel to the left of the steering wheel. All displays, buttons and controls are located ergonomically. Audi has also developed a new concept for the colors and materials. Q3 customers can choose between three variants – the basic version, the Audi design selection and the S line interior package. Both packages include the sport seats, which are trimmed optionally with a combination of leather/artificial leather and Alcantara. The Alcantara surfaces on the instrument panel and on the door armrests are an entirely new option. They are available in three colors, including a bold orange.
The new Audi Q3, which is based on the Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse matrix, has grown in virtually all dimensions and is positioned in the upper compact SUV segment. It is 4,485 millimeters (14.7 ft) long, making it 97 millimeters (3.8 in) longer than its predecessor. In terms of width, it has grown 25 millimeters (1.0 in) to 1,856 millimeters (6.1 ft), but at 1,585 millimeters (5.2 ft) is 5 millimeters (0.2 in) flatter than the first-generation Q3. Its wheelbase, which has been stretched 77 millimeters (3.0 in) to 2,680 millimeters (8.8 ft) is much more spacious – knee room, headroom and elbow room are even larger. In typical SUV fashion, the Audi Q3 is easy to get into, with good all-round visibility, and yet offers a sporty seating position. One highlight is the standard-fit highly variable division of space: the rear seats can be moved fore/aft by 150 millimeters (5.9 in). Their three-way split backrests in the ratio 40:20:40 can be tilted in seven stages. Rear passengers also have the option of a center armrest that features two cup holders as standard.
As part of the sales launch, Audi is delivering the new Q3 with four engine versions – three gasoline and one diesel unit in combination with front-wheel or quattro drive. Their power outputs range from 110 kW (150 hp) to 169 kW (230 hp). All engines are four-cylinder direct injection units with turbocharging. They are powerful, refined and efficient. A six-speed manual transmission or a fast-shifting seven-speed S tronic is used to transmit the power. Offroad the permanent all-wheel drive delivers excellent driving pleasure with optimum traction and supreme stability. Activated at the push of a button, the optional hill descent control maintains the preset speed on a steep downhill gradient. The front axle of the compact SUV is based on the McPherson principle; the rear axle adopts a sophisticated four-link design. The track widths are 1,584 millimeters (5.2 ft) and 1,576 millimeters (5.17 ft) respectively. The format of the aluminum wheels ranges from 17 and 18 inch – depending on the exterior trim – up to 20 inch in diameter, the latter from Audi Sport GmbH and fitted with size 255/40 tires.
Maneuverable in town, agile on country roads, balanced on the highway – the suspension on the Audi Q3 offers a wide spread. The sporty character of the predecessor model has been retained, but enhanced with a clear dose of additional comfort. The new SUV takes bumpy roads with ease – thanks also to the longer wheelbase. As an option, the driver can vary the characteristics of the Audi Q3 depending on the driving situation, road conditions or personal needs using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. It offers six profiles – from markedly comfortable, highly efficient through to out-and-out sporty. The system influences the throttle response, steering and shift characteristics of the S tronic as well as the optional suspension with damper control. Here sensors measure the movements of all four wheels plus lateral and longitudinal acceleration. The dampers are then adjusted accordingly to the road surface conditions and driving situation. This results in enhanced driving dynamics with even more comfort. Alternatively, there is the sport suspension – standard with the S line exterior package – with tauter spring/damper tuning and progressive steering. Its ratio becomes increasingly direct with increasing steering angle, adding substantially to the light-footed handling of the new Audi Q3.
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