In­gol­stadt adds one more Quiver to its bow

Audi un­veiled its new Q3 cross­over model in Shang­hai re­cently

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS - MO­TOR NEWS RE­PORTER

AUDI is set to ex­pand its cross­over range with the un­veil­ing in Shang­hai last week of its new Q3. Fol­low­ing the Q5 and Q7, the Q3 will have its in­ter­na­tional launch in the sec­ond half of this year and go on sale in SA in 2012.

The most diminu­tive mem­ber of the Audi Q-se­ries has been de­signed to be in tune with the times. As a new de­par­ture for an Audi SUV, the pre­dom­i­nantly qu­at­tro-equipped range will in­clude a front-wheel drive model pow­ered by a 2.0TDI en­gine that will give pri­or­ity to ef­fi­ciency. Other mod­els will also in­clude a high­pow­ered 2.0TDI en­gine as well as a 2.0TFSI petrol unit.

Nu­mer­ous ad­di­tional mea­sures are also set to con­trib­ute to im­proved ef­fi­ciency. These in­clude a body made of light­weight alu­minium and hi-tech steel, low rolling re­sis­tance tyres, en­gine start-stop, en­ergy re­cu­per­a­tion and electro­mechan­i­cal power steer­ing. The op­tional Audi drive se­lect adap­tive dy­nam­ics sys­tem fea­tures a fuel-sav­ing ef­fi­ciency mode, and when this op­tion is spec­i­fied the fur­ther de­vel­oped S tronic twin clutch trans­mis­sion can now dis­en­gage drive each time the throt­tle pedal is re­leased to re­duce draw on the en­gine.

When the ef­fi­ciency mode is se­lected, the elec­tronic cli­mate con­trol and cruise con­trol sys­tems op­er­ate at the op­ti­mum level for min­i­mal fuel con­sump­tion, and in mod- els with S tronic trans­mis­sion, the ac­tive clutch is dis­en­gaged each time the driver lifts off the throt­tle, al­low­ing the Q3 to use the mo­men­tum al­ready built up to coast with­out the need for en­gine in­put.

All ver­sions will have the nec­es­sary ground­ing to make un­ruf­fled progress over a va­ri­ety of ter­rains thanks to their raised 170mm ride height and ro­bust mul­ti­link front and rear sus­pen­sion. This is bol­stered by the so­phis­ti­cated elec­tronic sta­bil­ity pro­gram with elec­tronic dif­fer­en­tial lock, which reg­u­lates torque dis­tri­bu­tion by brak­ing in­di­vid­ual wheels when they start to slip. The pre­dom­i­nant con­fig­u­ra­tion will be qu­at­tro all-wheel drive.

Its city-friendly size is said to en­cap­su­late a roomy in­te­rior with seat­ing for five and an ac­com­mo­dat­ing load bay with a 460l ca­pac­ity, ris­ing to 1 365l if the stan­dard split/fold­ing rear seat is stowed.

Spec­i­fi­ca­tion is yet to be con­firmed; how­ever, in in­ter­na­tional mar­kets there will be both SE and S line mod­els. The SE fea­tures 17-inch al­loy wheels, con­trast­ing painted bumpers, chrome win­dow trims, alu­minium roof rails, rear park­ing sen­sors, light and rain sen­sors, du­al­zone cli­mate con­trol, a Con­cert au­dio sys­tem with 6,5-inch man­u­ally re­tractable colour dis­play screen, Blue­tooth in­ter­face, and Audi Mu­sic In­ter­face iPod con­nec­tion.

S line mod­els will up­grade with 18-inch al­loy wheels, S line ex­te­rior and in­te­rior styling en­hance­ments and xenon head­lamps with LED day­time run­ning lamps and LED rear tail lights.

Op­tions are ex­pected to in­clude adap­tive light tech­nol­ogy for the xenon plus head­lights, a high-beam as­sis­tant to il­lu­mi­nate the road, the hard drive-based nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem plus with seven-inch colour screen and 3D map­ping and the side as­sist blind spot warn­ing and lane as­sist lane de­par­ture warn­ing driver aids. Among the prac­ti­cal op­tions are a lug­gage com­part­ment pack­age, a front-pas­sen­ger seat with a fold­ing seat back, a re­versible load­liner and a stain­less steel load sill pro­tec­tor.

The Audi Q3 is set to of­fer a rugged look for an ad­ven­tur­ous life­style.

The Q3 could be the new word in ur­ban cross­over chic.

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