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Revealed ahead of its 2012 Auto China in Beijing debut is the Audi RS Q3 Concept boasting 360-hp from the same 2.5-liter TFSI engine that powers the TT-RS.
The German automaker’s Q3 concept has one goal: “It interprets the character of the compact SUV in a very special way – systematically dynamic.” The RS Q3 has been lowered almost an inch and widened, showing off the potential of the Q3 in an all new fashion.
The matte Ordos Blue finish on the exterior has been contrasted with brushed and polished aluminum trim frames while the single-frame black radiator grille undoubtedly resembles Audi styling. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill Q3 grille; Audi has slightly offset they honeycombs to give it a unique, three-dimensional effect. The headlights are slightly tinted while the carbon-fiber mirror covers are a nice touch.
The more aggressive front bumper sports carbon fiber components, including the front lip. The rear gets a similar tinted treatment on the taillights while the diffuser houses two large elliptical exhaust tips, typical of the RS style.
On the inside, the black and blue theme continues with plenty of carbon fiber and Fine Nappa leather. Dark blue Alcantara was used on the seats to contrast the rest of the black leather throughout the interior.
Most interesting is the 2.5-liter five-cylinder powerplant that boasts 360-hp thanks to a turbocharger. According to Audi, the RS Q3 hits 62-mph in just 5.2 seconds, very impressive for a compact SUV. Mated to a seven-speed S tronic transmission, the 2.5-liter TFSI powerplant also features Audi’s coveted quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Rounding off the concept is a set of 20-inch wheels paired to 255/30/20 tires.
This is definitely one of those concepts we hope Audi makes a reality – a high-performance compact SUV certainly has a place in this world.
GALLERY: Audi RS3 Q3 Concept
The 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year short list has just been announced, and women motoring writers from around the world will begin voting for their top picks.
Cutting a list of contenders from 300 down to 32, judges will now allocate points to the nominated cars that fall into four categories: Family Car, Luxury Car, Sports Car and Economy Car. Just one of the 10 criteria that cars are allotting points for is Child Friendliness, which is something vehicles aren’t usually judged on in a competition.
Winners of the 2012 Women’s World Car of the Year will be announced before the end of March, and awards will be presented at the Paris Motor Show in September. You can check out the complete short list after below.
Whittled down from all the cars in the world, a group of 66 automotive journalists from across the globe have released their top 10 picks for the 2012 World Car of the Year and World Performance Car.
That list, which will be further narrowed this month, is initially selected by secret ballot and then submitted for re-evaluation by the panel.
Members then have a chance to rate each car based on overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance. The top three are then scheduled to be announced March 6 at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show during a press conference.
The 2011 World Car of the Year was the Nissan Leaf, while the World Performance Car was the Ferrari 458 Italia. What we’re most curious about this year is the fact that the Porsche 911 made it into both categories.
The 2012 World Performance Car finalists are:
- Audi RS 3 Sportback
- BMW 1 Series M Coupé
- BMW M5
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Ferrari FF
- Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
- McLaren MP4-12C
- Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG
- Mercedes-Benz C-63 Coupe AMG Black Series
- Porsche 911
The 2012 World Car of the Year finalists are:
- Audi A6 Sedan / Avant
- Audi Q3
- BMW 1 Series
- BMW 3 Series
- Chevrolet Volt / Opel/Vauxhall Ampera
- Citroen DS5
- Ford Focus
- Land Rover Evoque
- Porsche 911
- Volkswagen Up!
Be sure to tune in for our coverage of the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, where we’ll be bringing you the latest. Also, let us know what you think of both lists in the comments section below.
Audi has unveiled a themed vehicle in the form of their Q3 compact SUV at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. The Audi Q3 Vail is named after the famous winter sports venue in the US with winter sports and functionality as its theme.
The themed design targets young enthusiasts of winter sports who love skiing or snowboarding and represents a new, potential variation on the SUV concept. The Q3 Vail sports an Energy Red exterior that features gold pearl while the add-on body parts are finished in a matte gray quartz-based paint. Aluminum and glossy black details also enhance the exterior styling.
Features that caught our eye on the Q3 Vail include the flared wheel arches and running boards which Audi announced that they plan to incorporate into the extensive range of Q3 accessories. Up top, the aluminum roof rails were designed specifically for transporting skis and snowboards, with their display vehicle rocking carbon fiber sports equipment.
Wheels for the Q3 Vail come in the form of 20×8.5-inch in a high-gloss finish mated to 255/45/20 off-road tires. The interior continues the same color scheme as the exterior with a titanium gray Alcantara headliner while the majority of the interior is black with red accents. Aluminum is used to highlight the instrument cluster while other trim pieces have been finished in high-gloss black.
And for the winter sports fans, the side wall of the trunk houses a charging station and can also be used to store flashlights while charging them inductively at the same time. There is also a Thermos bottle in the cup holder between the front seats that’s able to chill or warm drinks. Both sport LED lights to show the current charge level, while the flashlights can also play double-duty to warm your hands of ski boots thanks to an infrared heating element.
Powering the Q3 Vail is a 2.5L turbocharged, five-cylinder TFSI powerplant with 314-hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Q3 Vail is a great concept in showing off what the new Audi model can potentially do for the everyday consumer.
GALLERY: Audi Q3 Vail Official Photos
GALLERY: Audi A3 Vail Debut
Audi is still debating on whether or not to give us the Q3 crossover, which they secretly know would sell in droves to the purse-dog-carrying set. And to tantalize us even more, they’ve gone ahead and built some with the 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder that propels the TT-RS and RS3.
Like Germany’s answer to the GMC Typhoon, the Q3 comes with all-wheel drive and turbocharged motivation, in this case producing 300 horsepower instead of the 340 in the RS models. The Q3 also gets stealth mode: the only clue to the über-engine are small 2.5 TFSI badges and a new wheel and tire package.
The Q3 won’t go on sale in Europe for another year, and won’t go on sale in America until the end of time. But given Audi’s sales successes in America, one year will be ample time for its bosses to reconsider granting us the quick cute-ute.
[Source: Car and Driver]
The Q3 will be built in Martorell, Spain, in a plant normally reserved for SEAT. Volkswagen recently spent about 330 million Euros in upgrading the facility in anticipation, and is betting big on the Q3: hopefully it can reclaim the crown of Europe’s favorite premium SUV away from the BMW X1.
“The Q3 production is an example of how we are making use of synergies within the Group,” said Frank Dreves, an Audi board member. “The Martorell factory is an extremely productive facility with a highly skilled workforce, and one that meets the exacting quality standards of our brand.”
The Audi Q3 starts in Germany at €29,900. Word’s still mum on whether handbag-dwelling chihuahuas will be glaring down the precariously close bumpers of left lane “hogs” on this side of the Atlantic.
While Audi’s plans for the U.S. market originally did not include the compact Q3 crossover, but Audi is re-considering the decision to not import the car after seeing the segment expand with offerings like the MINI Countryman, BMW X1 and the Nissan Juke.
While the Q5 starts at $35,200, Audi would likely have to price it closer to the MINI Countryman which retails between $21,650 and $26,950. A sub-$30,000 price tag might be uncomfortable for Audi and its positioning as a premium brand, but with the small crossover segment growing, it could be a chance for Audi to increase their overall volume in North America.
The Q3 would likely be powered by the corporate 2.0T engine, with the possibility of a 2.0L TDI diesel engine as well. The diesel offering could allow the Q3 to stake out a niche within the segment, and remain consistent with Audi’s overall diesel strategy.
[Source: Kicking Tires]
Audi has finally unveiled the Q3, the compact SUV ready to do battle against the BMW X1.
In Audi’s relentless quest to leave no niche unturned, the Q3 is the dinghy to the Q5′s and Q7′s superyachts. At about 14.4 feet long, it’s a tick bigger than the A3, at 13.9 feet, and its styling—which Audi says is “coupe-like” and “one-of-a-kind among SUVs” mimics that of its older siblings to a tee.
Under the hood, the Q3 will be equipped with four engines: a 140-horsepower 2.0 TDI diesel and two TFSI gasoline engines with either 170 or 211 horsepower. All three are turbocharged and direct-injected, and all three feature energy-recovery and start-stop systems for maximum mileage-wringing. In true Audi form, quattro and trick transmissions will be available, including a six-speed manual and a seven-speed S-tronic.
Technology options include a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound system, LED headlights with corner-adapting xenons, lane assist, hill hold assist, and self-parking with 12 sensors, and wireless Internet through Audi connect—accessible through a 7-inch screen that pops up from the dash.
When it goes on sale in June, Audi will offer off-roadand S Line sporty styling packages, and no less than twelve colors for the exterior. Expect at least 9 of those to be monochrome.
Audi has yet to announce if the Q3 will make its way to North America.
GALLERY: 2012 Audi Q3
Audi has released a number of sketches showing their forthcoming Q3 crossover, based on the Volkswagen Tiguan, that will serve as an entry-level vehicle for the brand.
The Q3 is unlikely to come to North America, but its unveiling at the Shanghai Auto Show should give a clue as to where Audi anticipates a fair portion of sales to come from. Its main rival, the BMW X1, is notable for being rear-drive-based as opposed to the Q3′s front-drive underpinnings, but nobody buying this car will notice or care which wheels are being driven.
Styling-wise, the Q3 looks about the same as every Audi on the market today, while the Tiguan’s lineup of gasoline and diesel 4-cylinders will provide some oomph.
Gallery: Audi Q3 Sketches
The move comes as a bit of a quid pro quo for Audi, since SEAT’s Exeo flagship is a re-badged Audi A4, and with SEAT’s flagging sales presenting an issue for Volkswagen’s overall profitability, the excess production capacity could be put to good use building a product that will surely be a hit. The move will also add between 700 and 1,200 jobs in a region that has been hit hard by the global recession.
The Q3 will share a platform with the upcoming Porsche Cajun, but the P-Car will be built at a separate facility in Leipzig, Germany.
Initially, Audi hadn’t planned to bring its baby crossover across the pond, but with market demand for luxury compact crossovers exploding, the German automaker is poised to reconsider that move.
The small luxury CUV segment grew 22.3 percent last year, causing several manufacturers to bring new vehicles to market, including BMW with its X1.
Another reason for Audi’s change of mind might be the sales performance generated by the Q5, which has become one of Audi’s hottest selling models – in the US. .alone it has recorded a 70 percent sales increase year over year.
But it’s also been a big player on the global stage too – traditionally, most auto manufacturers have struggled to have a single best selling car in multiple markets, though the Q5 appears to be defying that trend.
According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi’s global sales supremo “I don’t remember in my 25 years in the auto industry, one model that was successful in every country, but the Q5 was a huge hit around the world. We think the Q3 could write a similar success story.”
The possible North American introduction of the Q3 is part of Audi’s next phase of brand development, in which it hopes to sell around 200,000 units annually in the U.S. by 2018 as well as pushing into new segments, including higher price brackets and small cars. Audi of America CEO Johann De Nysschen says the brand is already drawing more affluent buyers than before thanks to the current A8; with additional movement in that direction expected in the foreseeable future.
He also hinted that the A1, Audi’s smallest vehicle, might eventually make it to the U.S., but that would have to wait until it’s redesigned once more, as the current A1 wasn’t conceived with North America in mind.
[Source: Ward's Auto World]
According to GermanCarBlog, dealers in the UK have already started taking orders for the car, which will be limited to just 2700 units. That number makes us suspicious of the rumor as its the same allocation of cars BMW is planning for the new 1 Series M Coupe. Then again, the RS3 would be a competitor for the 1M.
While no confirmed details about the car have been provided, its believe to use a 340-hp version of the turbocharged 2.5-liter 5-cylinder found in the TT-RS.
According to GermanCarBlog, one individual who already placed his RS3 order was also told by his dealer that the Q3 would be unveiled in Paris.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated with full Paris Auto Show coverage starting Sept. 30th.
It’s not news that Audi built the A1 to compete directly with the MINI Cooper, or that BMW is upping the ante with a little extra competition in the form of a new front-drive 1 Series hatchback (for Europe only). But now it appears as though the two German rivals will take their small car tit-for-tat further, extending into the real of compact, and even sub-compact crossovers.
With BMW’s new X1 model and the recent release of the MINI Countryman, Audi’s smaller Q3 model is set to debut soon – possibly as early as this Fall’s Paris Auto Show. But Audi isn’t going to stop there with reports suggesting a Q1 model could also be in the four-ringed automaker’s plans. Based on the VW Polo/A1 platform, this small soft-roader could get a version of the 178-hp 1.4-liter twincharger engine.
And with the A1 most certainly a European exclusive (at least fur its first generation) there’s word that the Q3 could be sold in North America after all.
[Source: Car & Driver]
Get more Audi A1/Q1 news and info at AudiA1Forum.com
A3 sedan and A2 electric car among new models being studied
With rumored news that rival BMW is planning a long list of 1 Series-based vehicles, Audi is reportedly studying several premium small cars for introduction into the North American marketplace.
First on the list is a sedan version of the A3 hatchback. Much like BMW’s plans for the 1 Series, Audi is rumored to be working on several A3 based vehicles when the new platform debuts in 2012. This new A3 could also spawn a convertible model, while a Q3 crossover to slot in underneath the Q5 (and compete directly with the BMx X1) is almost certain.
The final product Audi is looking to bring to the U.S. and Canada is an electric city car based on the Europe-only A2 (pictured above). Currently Audi parent company Volkswagen is planning an electric car (based on the E-U! Concept which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show). Audi has also announced plans to bring a high powered electric car based on the R8-based Audi E-Tron Concept, which debuted at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September.
[Source: Automotive News via LeftLaneNews]
Spanish SEAT site confirmed as Q3 production facility
Audi CrossCoupe Quattro Concept, which will inspire the Audi Q3
Audi has just confirmed production of the Q3 starting in 2011. The news comes as Audi AG announced the selection of the SEAT facility in Martorell, Spain as the location where the upcoming crossover will be built.
Little is known about the Q3 other than that it will slot in under the new Q5 in Audi’s lineup of SUVs. Audi describes it as a “coupé-like five-door SUV with seat positions, wheel size, and ground clearance characteristic of a typical SUV.” It is expected to be a versatile platform and yet have a sporty driving dynamic. As for the design, it is expected to be influenced heavily by the Cross Coupe Quattro concept vehicle (pictured above).
The new Q3 production facility will create 1,200 jobs in Spain. Unfortunately, however, this decision means that any plans to produce the vehicle in the United States have been put on hold. Currently it is not yet confirmed if the Q3 will be sold in North America.
With production starting in 2011, Audi will also begin sales of the car in Fall of the same year, with an expected sales volume of 80,000 units annually.
Official release after the jump: