The sales of compact crossover SUVs are booming and Audi should have one of the strongest offers in the form of a newly designed Q3 next year.
The new Q3 was unveiled on Wednesday and is expected to enter the US showrooms in the first half of 2019, with a new look, enhanced proportions and lots of cab technology.
The basis for the vehicle is the flexible MQB platform of the Volkswagen Group, which Audi also uses in the A1, A3 and TT. At 176.5 inches, the length of the new Q3 is up to 3.8 inches compared to its predecessor, with 3.0 inches of those between the wheels and thus cabin space to benefit. The vehicle is also 1.0 inches wider and 0.2 inches lower. With the rear seats folded flat, the storage space is an impressive 53.9 cubic feet.
The specifications for the US are not yet known, but in other markets Audi will offer its latest Q3 with three petrol engines and one diesel. All are turbo inline 4 and the strongest unit delivers 230 hp. The transmissions include six-speed manual and seven-speed dual-clutch transmissions. Four-wheel drive is offered and can be improved with a descent that retains a preset speed on steep inclines.
This is in addition to a drive mode selector that adjusts a number of dynamic settings, including suspension damping. Alternatively, there is a sporty suspension with stiffer settings for the springs and the damping and the electronic power steering. The sports suspension is equipped as standard with the S Line package at Q3. The regular wheels measure 17 and 18 inches in diameter, but a 20-inch Audi Sport set is available.
On the outside, the design, while evolutionary, has become much more muscular. This is particularly true for the fenders, whose strong character lines are an allusion to the Audi Quattro of the 1980s.
In the interior, however, the designers have really spiced things up. Similar to the design of Audi's superstructure models, the dashboard is split into two levels, with the upper part integrating the vents and a digital instrument cluster and the lower part integrating a large octagonal area with infotainment screen and black panel surround. Apple Auto Play and Android Car smartphone integration included
Audi also provides numerous electronic driving aids. These include adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, front-end warning with cyclist and pedestrian detection, auto-assisted parking assistance, and a surround camera that provides a detailed view of the wheels so you do not scrape them off when parking on the lane
Im Audi Sport will launch the new generation of the powerful RS Q3 on the market, and this time it will be sold here. An e-tron plug-in hybrid option is expected to eventually enter the Q3 lineup.