At a glance, the Q3 has the familiar coupe‑like lines and characteristic wrap-around tailgate, now in 3D singleframe. Additionally, there’s revised headlights with Xenons and DRLs, LED rear lights, revised bumpers, and new look 16- to 20-inch alloy wheels. The S line and S line + now has all-weather LED headlights and dynamic ‘scrolling’ rear indicators. At the same time, the full body-color paint finish which was previously standard for S line versions and above also now extends to SE range. The S line + specification adds larger 19-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and standard metallic paint.
For the top flight RS Q3, there are numerous design details to illustrate the special status of the first ever Audi SUV to wear the RS badge.The Audi RS Q3 demonstrates its special status within the Q3 line-up with RS-specific body detailing, including a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille and RS bumpers, a special front treatment including a quattro emblem in the air intake and a distinctive rear diffuser insert flanked by a large elliptical tailpipe. A roof spoiler, roof rails in matt aluminium and special door sill plates and door trim strips also add emphasis. Lastly, the sizeable 19-inch wheels certainly give the RS Q3 its commanding road presence.
Inside, up to five adults can enjoy the more refined ride of the latest Q3, those in the front from the comfort of sports seats with four-way electric lumbar support which are new to SE versions and also standard for S line and S line plus versions. S line + gets perforated leather and Alcantara combination upholstery as added features. A new three-spoke multifunction steering wheel and additional aluminium effect detailing also freshen the ambiance. In S line versions and above, powered tailgate operation enhances the already comprehensive specification, and gives access to an impressive luggage capacity of up to 420 liters with seats up and 1,325 liters with seats folded. A new retractable luggage cover is also now installed to conceal personal belongings. On a side note, the S line upgrade which includes cloth and leather combination upholstery for the sports seats and the option to specify S line sports suspension are in place of the standard set-up at no additional cost.
Features common to all versions include dual-zone climate control, a Concert audio system with 6.5-inch manually retractable color display screen, Bluetooth interface, Audi Music Interface iPod connection and light and rain sensors. Navigation preparation, enabling customers to ‘activate’ navigation retrospectively by purchasing an SD card if required, is standard for SE and S line versions, while S line plus specification comes ready prepared with SD-based navigation as standard.
Inside the RS Q3, sports seats upholstered in Fine Nappa leather with contrast stitching, red needles sweeping across grey dials in the instrument cluster and a Driver’s Information System offering a special RS menu with lap timer, oil temperature and boost pressure displays set the tone.
The technology package incorporating MMI navigation plus with its hard disc-based mapping and a color Driver’s Information System is the high‑end infotainment solution from Audi, and can be complemented by Audi connect, which connects the Audi Q3 to the Internet.
Under the hood, the Q3 gets a 1.4-liter TFSI petrol engine, with 150PS and the option of either manual or S tronic twin-clutch automatic transmission. Above it in the petrol line-up is a 2.0-liter TFSI unit that churns 180 PS, an increased output from 170 PS of the outgoing Q3, is linked to a manual or S tronic transmission. The powertrain is allied to quattro all-wheel-drive without exception. Lastly, a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder TFSI, reserved for the RS Q3, is capable of 340 PS output, 450 Nm of torque and a sprint time of 4.8 seconds. There are two 2.0-liter diesel engines (TDIs) available, capable of 150 and 184 PS, respectively.
Agile handling is guaranteed on the Q3, thanks to Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, now standard across the variant. The Audi drive select enables the driver to adjust key technology modules, including the optional damper control system, to suit his or her personal preferences. Driver assistance systems for the Q3 range include Audi side assist, Audi active lane assist, cruise control (S line +) and Audi parking system plus (S line +). RS sports suspension is standard, and can be supplemented by optional electronically controlled damping adjustable via Audi drive select, and thanks to their wave design the large brake discs gripped by eight-piston calipers on the front axle are now a kg lighter.
The base price for the Audi Q3 is 56,600 euros and the RS Q3 pricing will be announced some time in the first quarter of 2015.