The Audi Q3 ­ a premium SUV in compact form

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay News | Latest Industry News

The Audi Q3 – a premium SUV in compact form

• Audi Q3 has the sportiest and most progressive design in its segment
• Due to arrive in Singapore in the second half of 2012
• Reinhold Carl, Managing Director of Audi Singapore: “We are looking forward to this exciting model. The new Audi Q3 is perfect for urban drivers who want a premium state-of-the-art SUV that is versatile for the urban driver’s everyday use”

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Singapore, 15 April 2011 – The new Audi Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact form, setting standards in all aspects of engineering – from its body through drivetrains and chassis to its state-ofthe-art assistance systems and multimedia systems. The Audi Q3 is a versatile companion for everyday life – with an urbane character.

The Audi Q3 will be first shown in public at the Auto Shanghai 2011 on April 19 and is expected to arrive in Singapore in the second half of 2012.

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Design and body

The Audi Q3 features the sportiest and most progressive design in its segment. The single-frame grille with its tapered upper corners dominates the front; its outline is extended by the dynamic curve of the engine hood. The wedge-shaped headlights are available in a xenon plus version including LED daytime running lights. Large air inlets hint at the potential of the engines.

 

Viewed from the side, the Q3 similarly exhibits Audi’s classic design characteristics. The tornado line divides the side underneath the windows. The dynamic line imparts additional flourishes near the side sills and the wheel arches have a muscular look. Metal constitutes two thirds of the vehicle’s exterior; the greenhouse the remaining third. The roofline slopes markedly toward the ground; the D-posts resemble those of a coupe.

 

Despite its coupe-like styling, the Audi Q3 is clearly recognisable as a member of the Q family. Its wraparound tailgate is similar in design to those on its larger siblings, the Q5 and Q7. In conjunction with the xenon plus headlights, LED light strips serve as taillights. The exhaust system’s tailpipes terminate to the left and to the right. The Audi Q3 is 4.39 metres in length, 1.83 metres in width, and 1.60 metres in height – roof rail included. Its drag coefficient of 0.32 raises the bar in this segment; moreover, its underbody fairing facilitates optimum airflow – underneath the vehicle, too.

This Audi Q3’s body is very rigid and impact-resistant yet quiet on the road. The passenger cell incorporates a great many tailored blanks as well as extremely strong hot-formed steel. These components are quite thin, which reduces the vehicle’s weight. The tailgate and the engine hood of the Audi Q3 are made of aluminium. The front-wheel drive version of Audi’s latest model weighs less than 1,500 kilograms.

 

Interior
Workmanship of uncompromising quality is every bit a matter of pride at Audi. The roomy interior of the Audi Q3 harmoniously mirrors the exterior design’s sinewy yet gentle styling. A large curve, known as a wrap-around, encapsulates the driver and the front-seat passenger – a feature familiar from the brand’s large model lines. The dashboard’s horizontal layout underscores its width. Operating the Audi Q3 entails straightforward logic and intuitive user-friendliness. It is simple to read the instruments at a glance; the seats provide outstanding support and comfort. The chorus sound system with an AUX-IN input, an air conditioner and an extensive array of occupant restraint systems comes standard.

 

Numerous high-end options attest to the excellent technological standards of the Q3. They include an on-board computer with efficiency program, an ambient lighting package with LEDs, a panoramic glass roof, a storage package, sports seats, electrically adjustable seats, a convenience key for entering the vehicle and starting the engine at the touch of a button and a three-spoke leather steering wheel in a new Q-specific look. Adaptive light technology for the xenon plus headlights and the highbeam assistant intelligently illuminate the dark road ahead.

 

The Audi Q3 has a luggage compartment that offers plenty of room for recreational and sports equipment. Its 460-litre capacity swells to a volume of 1,365 litres with the split rear seat backrests folded down.

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Drivetrain

 

The Audi Q3 will be available initially in two gasoline engines with a displacement of 2.0 litres. In addition, the engines combine Audi’s mighty efficiency technologies: direct fuel injection, turbocharging, start-stop system, and energy recovery system.

 

The 2.0 TFSI delivers either 170 bhp or 211 bhp. The Audi Q3 2.0 TFSI with 177 bhp will roll off the assembly line with front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission. The 211 bhp TFSI will combine quattro drive with a dynamic sevenspeed S tronic. The more powerful version also propels the Q3 from zero to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and on up to a top speed of 230 km/h. Both TFSI engines will be supplied with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its key element is a hydraulic multiplate clutch, which redistributes power at lightning speed from the front axle to the rear axle as needed.

 

Chassis

The sportiest player in this segment, the Audi Q3 has a chassis that combines outstanding safety with excellent comfort and is well-balanced and harmonious. Its four-link rear suspension handles longitudinal and lateral forces separately. The electromechanical power steering performs responsively, precisely and very efficiently; the electromechanical parking brake boosts convenience.

 

Audi drive select is available as an option. It accesses the accelerator and steering. When ordered with the equipment options S tronic, adaptive light and Audi adaptive cruise control, these are influenced, too. The driver can vary the function of these systems between the comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency modes. In efficiency mode, the air conditioner and cruise control operate with the specific aim of saving
fuel. The Audi Q3 leaves the factory with 16-inch lightweight alloy wheels fitted with 215/65 tyres. Upon request, Audi can supply wheels between 17 and 19 inches, some of which are quattro GmbH products. All tyres are distinguished by low-rolling resistance; the brakes are strong and stable – and ventilated at the front. Thanks to its generous ground clearance of 17 centimetres, the Q3 can also tackle rough terrain.

 

In the Audi Q3, the electronic stabilisation program (ESP) integrates an electronic differential lock, which – at the vehicle’s cornering limit – regulates the distribution of drive torques to the wheels via minor, barely perceptible braking. Regardless of version, the ESP offers trailer stabilisation.

 

Audi connect

Audi will provide a full range of infotainment technologies for the Q3. The connectivity package, for instance, includes the Audi music interface for integrating mobile playback devices and a GPS interface, which the customer can activate at once or at a later date.

Many additional solutions are taken straight from the luxury class. For example, the Bose surround sound system integrates 14 speakers, and the woofers up front illuminate handsomely when the interior darkens. The high-end infotainment cornerstone is the large MMI plus, a hard drive navigation system. Its manually extendable seven-inch colour screen displays high-resolution 3D images; the system can also process whole-word voice input.

 

Assistance systems

Assistance systems for the Q3 also come from higher-end model lines. Audi side assist employs radar to help drivers change lanes and Audi active lane assist helps drivers remain in their lane by slightly correcting steering, if necessary. The optional driver information system’s screen shows important road signs thanks to the camerabased speed limit display.

No less than five systems are available to help drivers park. The park assist system does the steering for drivers while the vehicle is reversing into right-angle or parallel spaces; if necessary, it will execute several steering steps. Its twelve ultrasonic sensors detect obstacles such as concrete pillars, even if they are off to the vehicle’s side. The assistant’s software memorises the obstacles’ locations and alerts the driver to them before the parking space is vacated.

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Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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