|July 5, 2011
Source: Audi of America
The new Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact form. Its body, the drivetrains, the chassis and the highly advanced assistance and multimedia systems reflect the competence of Audi. The Audi Q3, the youngest member of the successful SUV family from Audi, is a practical companion for everyday an urban model that feels at home anywhere. Its versatile character makes it attractive to a wide range of customers.
Breaking ground in a new market segment the Audi Q3
Audi is venturing into a new market segment: The Audi Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact-class form. It is sporty, efficient and versatile a vehicle that is equally comfortable on or off the road. Every aspect of the Q3 showcases Audi technology the body, the drivetrain, the chassis and the assistance and multimedia systems. Many of its solutions are straight from the luxury class.
The Q3 is immediately recognizable as the youngest member of the large Audi family. The coupe-like lines are an expression of its sporty character. Sharp edges frame elegantly arched sheet metal surfaces, and distinctive lights accentuate the front and rear. The wedge-shaped headlights are optionally available with xenon plus units and LED daytime running lights, which Audi also combines with LED tail lights.
The low roof line, which begins dropping rather early, and the very flat D-pillars underscore the dynamics of the Audi Q3. Add-on parts are available in a number of variants customers can choose between black, anthracite or the body color. There is also a choice of two exterior packages.
The base version of the Audi Q3, which will be available somewhat later, weighs 1,445 kilograms (3,186 lb). Its rigid, safe and quiet occupant cell integrates a number of ultra-high-strength steels. Both the engine hood and the tailgate are made of aluminum. As is typical of the Q models from Audi, the undivided tail lights are integrated into the tailgate, which wraps around the pillars. At just 0.32, the coefficient of drag is unusually low. The compact SUV is 4.39 meters (14.40 ft) long, 1.83 meters (6.00 ft) wide and 1.59 meters (5.22 ft) high.
The Audi Q3 offers ample room for all five passengers and sets new standards for ergonomics and workmanship. A wide variety of materials and colors for the interior offers customers countless possibilities for expressing their own personal style. The wrap-around, a large arc extending from one front door to the other, is a design feature borrowed from the large Audi model series.
The luggage compartment of the compact SUV has a capacity of 460 liters (16.24 cu ft), which can be increased to 1,365 liters (48.20 cu ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs. A roof rail is standard. Many useful options, including a luggage compartment package and a pass-through hatch, make the Q3 even more versatile and convenient in everyday use.
Numerous highlights: the equipment
The Audi Q3 comes generously appointed with a long list of standard equipment, including the chorus audio system, air conditioning and a comprehensive package of restraint systems. Audi also offers a choice of optional equipment taken directly from the luxury class, including the adaptive light system for the xenon plus headlights, the high-beam assistant, the panoramic glass roof, the LED interior lighting package and power-adjustable front seats.
The range of driver assistance systems redefines the compact SUV class. The park assist system maneuvers the vehicle into tight parking spots autonomously. All the driver has to do is apply the gas and the brakes. The system also detects and warns the driver of obstacles to the sides. Audi side assist employs radar to help change lanes, and Audi active lane assist makes slight steering corrections as necessary to help stay in the lane. The speed limit display recognizes and presents important traffic signs.
Audi offers a comprehensive range of modular infotainment components. Topping the range of options is the hard-drive navigation system MMI navigation plus, which displays high-resolution 3D graphics on a fold-out 7.0-inch color monitor. The Bose surround sound system delivers 465 watts of power to 14 speakers.
Coming soon under the heading of Audi connect is the Bluetooth online car phone paired with a WLAN hotspot to provide the Q3 with Internet connectivity. The new Audi online traffic information service provides the driver with precise, current information about how heavy traffic is on the selected route.
Initial lineup: one TDI, two TFSI engines
The Audi Q3 is being launched with a choice of three engines one TDI and two TFSI units. All three four-cylinder engines combine direct injection with turbocharging, and will feature not only an energy recovery system but also a start-stop system. With power outputs ranging from 125 kW (170 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), these engines are as efficient as they are powerful. Scheduled to appear somewhat later, the Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) and front-wheel drive will average less than 5.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (45.23 US mpg).
Audi combines all three of the initial engines with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which works with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The seven-speed S tronic is standard in all models equipped with the most powerful TDI and TFSI engines. The ultra-compact and fast-shifting dual-clutch transmission showcases an innovation that enhances efficiency even further. When coasting, it allows the Audi Q3 to free-wheel when the Efficiency mode of Audi drive select is active. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are optionally available.
The chassis of the Q3 featuring a four-link rear suspension, electromechanical power steering and wheels measuring between 16 and 19 inches in diameter is the fruit of great design labor. An electromechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are standard, with hill-descent assist to be available later. Audi drive select enables the driver to adjust various technology modules, including the optional active shock absorbers, in four stages to suit his or her individual driving style.
The Audi Q3 which rolls off the assembly line in Martorell, near Barcelona in Spain went on sale in June. The Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) has a base price in Germany of 29,900
Design and body
· Sporty, coupe-like lines with flat D-pillars and a wrap-around tailgate
· Numerous customization options
· Lightweight body with ultra-high-strength steels in the occupant cell; aluminum engine hood and tailgate. Base vehicle weight 1,445 kilograms (3,186 lb).
· Optional xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights
Interior and controls
· Elegant interior with attractive colors and new materials
· Intuitive control concept and superior build quality
· LED interior lighting, panoramic glass roof and power-adjustable seats optional
· Spacious rear seat; variable luggage compartment from 460 to 1,365 liters (16.24 to 48.20 cu ft) of capacity
Audi connect and driver assistance systems
· Optional hard-drive navigation system with fold-out 7.0-inch color monitor
· Bose surround sound system with LED lighting in the front doors
· Numerous infotainment components and online connectivity available
· Portfolio of powerful driver assistance systems, including Audi active lane assist and park assist
Engine and drivetrain
· Two TFSI and one TDI engines, with power output ranging from 125 kW (170 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp)
· They will be followed somewhat later by a second 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) and average fuel consumption of less than 5.2 liters per 100 km (45.23 US mpg)
· All four-cylinder models standard with start-stop and recuperation
· Front-wheel or quattro all-wheel drive depending on the engine
· S tronic with free-wheel mode (with Audi drive select), optional shift paddles on steering wheel
Chassis and control systems
· Efficient electromechanical power steering, four-link rear axle
· Wheels ranging in size from 16 to 19 inches, electromechanical parking brake
· Optional Audi drive select driving dynamics system with “Efficiency” mode, adaptive shock absorber control available upon request
Robust, powerful, sporty – the Audi Q3 has a distinctive road stance. Its progressive design is tightly integrated into the brand’s design language. Audi is known for bringing many ideas and innovations from its show cars to production vehicles. The Q3 takes up the concept of the 2007 Cross Coupé quattro showcar.
Its dimensions express the dynamic lines in numbers. The compact SUV is 4,385 millimeters long (14.39 ft) long and 1,831 millimeters (6.01 ft) wide, but only 1,590 millimeters (5.22 ft) high (without antenna and roof rail). The wheelbase measures 2,603 millimeters (8.54 ft); the overhangs are short. The coupe-like roof line and the sharply sloped D-pillars give the Q3 a thoroughly sporty silhouette.
The front end of the vehicle is intensively sculpted and sets strong accents. The upper corners of the single-frame radiator grille are beveled, and the lattice is dominated by the vertical elements. Two rising lines on the side carry over into the engine hood. The large air inlets with the horizontal bars underscore the powerful appearance of the compact SUV and harbor the standard fog lights.
Like its big brothers, the Q5 and the Q7, the headlights of the Audi Q3 are wedge-shaped. They are set deeply into the body, and the turn signals are located behind an intricate fascia vapor coated with aluminum.
As with every Audi, daytime running lights are standard with the standard halogen headlights. With the optional xenon plus units, the daytime running lights are implemented as two light-emitting diodes that together consume only 10 watts and whose light is radiated via a light guide. The light guide forms a flat, U-shaped clasp that is open to the outside.
The headlights can be paired with the optional high-beam assistant – a first in the compact SUV segment. The system uses a small camera to detect other vehicles and automatically changes between the high and low beams. Another high-end option is adaptive light, the dynamic cornering light.
In the style of a coupe: the roof
The side view is dominated by the flowing, coupe-like roof that quickly begins sloping back downward. It flows into an unusually flat D-pillar reminiscent of the A3 models. The pillar lends the rear an energetic look that is further accentuated by the long roof spoiler. The sheet metal to greenhouse ratio of two-thirds to one-third is also typical of Audi’s sporty design language. The pronounced wheel arches with the offset wheel wells house wheels up to 19 inches in diameter.
Sharply drawn lines on the flanks frame athletically arched sheet metal surfaces. Their wedge-shaped path gives the Q3 a lean and fast appearance. The defining shadow contour is the tornado line. It begins at the headlights and runs below the edge of the window to the tail lights. The dynamic line above the side sills is also an element of the Audi brand library. Another line in the area of the sills further heightens the tension. The door handles are distinctly bow-shaped, and the housings of the side mirrors sport LED turn signals.
The wrap-around tailgate emphasizes the width of the Q3’s rear end – a characteristic feature of the Q model series. The tailgate has a three-dimensional look, drawing back several centimeters above the license plate. The electric button to unlock the tailgate is located beneath this edge.
The large, undivided tail lights – another distinguishing feature of the Q models – have a wedge shape similar to the headlights and feature a three-dimensional look that is continued in their interior.
Audi offers LED tail lights in combination with the xenon plus headlights. Two high-performance LEDs which require just two watts of power generate the rear light – a flat bar in the style of the daytime running lights – by means of light guides. 21 yellow LEDs are used for the turn signal, 18 red ones for the brake light – whose immediate response provides added safety for drivers following behind.
Thanks to the colored housing, the LED tail lights are very dark red when switched off. Because they cannot be seen when the luggage compartment hatch is open, the Q3 also has flat lamps with incandescent bulbs integrated into the bumper.
An underbody guard caps the bottom of the rear end, giving the compact premium SUV a sturdy road stance. The exhaust system terminates in dual tailpipes on the left. The entire exhaust system is very lightweight thanks to the low wall thicknesses made possible by high-grade stainless steels.
Broad palette: 11 paint colors
Audi finishes its compact SUV in 11 colors. The solid finishes are Amalfi White and Brilliant Black; the metallic and pearl-effect colors go by the names of Ice Silver, Glacier White, Caribou Brown, Cobalt Blue, Monsoon Gray, Phantom Black, Platinum Beige, Samoa Orange and Sphere Blue.
The add-on parts – the wheel wells and the front and rear underbody guards – are available in a choice of three colors. They come standard in black, but Audi offers both anthracite and the body color as options. Another option is tinted privacy glass for the rear windows. The high-gloss package that comes standard on all models equipped with the two most powerful engines provides elegant touches around the windows.
Two large packages round out the lineup. The Audi exclusive off-road styling package lends the Audi Q3 a particularly wide and powerful appearance. The trim strips on the doors and the flared wheel wells are Stone Gray, and grilles with impact strips are mounted in the air inlets.
The underbody guard is made of stainless steel, and the bottom of the rear bumper has been redesigned. Special 18-inch wheels from the Audi exclusive line complete the robust look.
The S line exterior package, on the other hand, has classic appeal to particularly sporty customers. It includes modifications to the front apron and the bottom of the rear bumper, into which a diffuser is integrated. Chrome elements add sparkle to the fog lights, the vertical struts of the single-frame grille and the exhaust tips. The air inlets are black, while the door trim strips and bumpers are finished in the body color. The front bumpers and the door sills sport S line badges.
The body of the Q3 establishes the foundation for the high build quality, the sporty handling, the acoustic comfort of the cabin and safety. Large portions of it are made of high-strength steels, which are a decisive factor for the high static and dynamic rigidity. Two torsion rings – in the area of the rear seats and the cutout for the tailgate – also make significant contributions here.
Audi once again demonstrates its competence in “ultra” lightweight construction with the Q3. The front-wheel drive version of the compact SUV, scheduled to appear somewhat later, weighs 1,445 kilograms (3,186 lb), with the body-in-white accounting for just 301 kilograms (664 lb). Even the add-on parts are lightweight. The engine hood and the wrap-around tailgate are made of aluminum. They weigh just 8.8 and 10.8 kilograms (19.40 and 23.81 lb), respectively – nearly 50 percent less than corresponding parts of steel sheet. The engine hood is secured to the body by two releases, allowing a crash-optimized construction with low sheet thicknesses and high geometrical stability.
The occupant cell integrates numerous panels with tailored thicknesses (tailored blanks). 74 percent of all panels in the body are made of high-end steels. Topping the materials pyramid are the hot-shaped steels. The blanks are heated in a furnace to over 900 degrees Celsius (1,652 degrees Fahrenheit) and shaped immediately thereafter at around 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) in a water-cooled pressing die.
The abrupt change in temperature imbues the finished panels with a tensile strength of up to 1,550 megapascals – the same as the cables of a suspension bridge. A single wire with a cross-section of one square millimeter can suspend a weight of 150 kilograms (331 lb). The martensitic structure of the panels can only be machined with a laser or diamond-coated tools.
Hot-shaped steels, which because of their strength require only relatively low wall thicknesses, make up 13 percent of the body. They are used in the transition from the front end to the occupant cell, at the center tunnel, in large areas of the roof frame, for the interior sills and for the B-pillars. The latter are each formed from a single blank, but undergo different heat treatments in different areas. As a result, their strength varies in three zones so that the B-pillars offer optimal protection in a side-impact collision.
One factor for enhanced rigidity is 74 meters of structural adhesive. The adhesive bonds supplement the 4,400 weld points and provide for strong and tight connections, often eliminating the need for additional sealing and corrosion protection measures – which in turn saves weight.
The seam around the water outlet at the trunk and the invisible seam between the side panel and the roof – two particularly problematic areas – are made using the laser beam or the plasmatron brazing process. Audi performs both high-end processes with exacting precision. The roof joint strips are eliminated. Laser welds also join the frame and the interior portions of the doors.
Carefully matched: vibrational comfort
The development engineers precisely matched the resonant frequencies of the body and those of the add-on and internal components to give the Q3 its excellent vibrational comfort and acoustics. Bulkheads and lightweight materials such as foams and spray insulation divide large cavities like the D-pillars and have a calming effect on the large sheet metal surfaces. In addition to the good acoustic properties, these measures offer the added advantage of saving two to three kilograms (4.41 to 6.61 lb) of weight compared to thick film coatings.
Particular attention was focused on sound radiation in all areas where the driver and front-seat passenger are in contact with the car, such as the seats, parts of the floor and the steering wheel.
The engineers use state-of-the-art simulation tools and computational methods in all fields of work. For example, they were used to develop a reinforcement for the tailgate latch with molded bulkheads that significantly reduces the sound radiation of the tailgate. Another factor contributing to the low noise level on board the Q3 are the sophisticated seals at the doors and windows, plus numerous geometric details of the body. Audi also offers an acoustic windshield with a noise-damping intermediate film as an option.
Enhanced safety: excellent occupant protection
The Audi Q3 is also at the head of its class when it comes to passive safety. There are three load levels in the front end. The lowest one comprises the subframe for the front axle. Two longitudinal members are used on the middle level. Connected to one another via the front cross-member, they distribute the load in an offset crash to both sides of the occupant cell. On the top level, two additional members dissipate energy via the fenders.
The ultra-high-strength B-pillars provide outstanding protection in a side-impact collision. Large overlaps brace the doors against the pillars and the triple-shell sills. Two cross-members reinforce the floor structure. The longitudinal members absorb energy in the event of a rear-end collision. Their strength gradually decreases moving forward. The members can be replaced in sections, which reduces costs.
Five crash sensors that react to acceleration and changes in air pressure stand guard in the Audi Q3. One of them is located at the center of the front end, the other four in the area of the B- and C-pillars. They provide detailed information to the airbag controller, which itself includes three sensors.
The compact premium SUV comes standard with two front airbags, thorax-pelvis side airbags in the backs of the front seats and curtain head airbags. Pyrotechnic belt tensioners up front, belt force limiters and the integral Audi head restraint system, which mitigates the consequences of a rear-impact collision, round out the package. Side airbags in the rear are optionally available.
Isofix child seat anchor points in the rear are standard. Sensors monitor whether the rear safety belts are fastened. Isofix child seat anchor points for the front passenger seat together with deactivatable airbag are optionally available. The accessories line includes child seats for every age group.
Audi’s latest model also represents the state of the art when it comes to pedestrian protection. The front bumper and the cross-member behind it, the energy-absorbing foam between the two components and the aluminum engine hood make for an effective package.
Low-speed collisions – the standard insurance category crash and the bumper crash, both of which are important for determining the comprehensive insurance category – result in no major damage. The front cross-member and the crash boxes bolted to the longitudinal members are closed, extruded sections of aluminum. They form a structure that provides effective protection for expensive components such as the radiator and air conditioning units, as well as the welded body structure. The bumper is made up of three parts, each of which can be replaced individually.
Extremely sophisticated: the aerodynamics
The base version of the Audi Q3 boasts a coefficient of drag of 0.32 – tops among its competition. It has a front surface area of 2.44 square meters (26.26 sq ft). The low lift at the axles ensures superior stability at high speed.
The aerodynamic specialists at Audi performed exhaustive fine-tuning with their virtual tools and at the Wind Tunnel Center. They reduced the coefficient of drag by 0.16 from the first design model of the Q3. This resulted in a reduction in fuel consumption of 0.6 liters per 100 km in the EU cycle. At 130 km/h, the result is an even more impressive reduction of 2.3 liters per 100 km.
The greatest challenge proved to be the rear of the car, the zone in which the flow of air has to break off cleanly. The large spoiler with the integrated third brake light over the rear window extends the roof contour by 32 centimeters (12.60 in). Two “aero strips” to the left and the right of the window form lateral spoiler lips. Their black, high-gloss finish lends them a subtle and elegant appearance. The vertical contours in the tail lights serve similar purposes.
Very sophisticated aerodynamic tuning also went into the side mirrors. With their elegant design and slender base, they contribute just 3.1 percent of the total wind resistance. The noise generated at the mirrors remains low, and the glass barely fouls in the rain. The water-catching strips at the A-pillars keep the side windows clean by diverting the rain water pushed in their direction by the windshield wipers downward or upward.
The underbody also plays a major role in the aerodynamics concept. Except for the exhaust system and the back of the vehicle, it is covered by a plastic liner that protects it against salt and stone chipping and provides for a more aerodynamic flow of air. Small spoiler lips are integrated in front of the wheels. The aerodynamic underbody lowers the coefficient of drag by 0.03 or nine percent, and is precisely matched to the flow separation at the rear of the vehicle.
The aerodynamics experts also pared further valuable percentage points from the flow of air through the engine compartment. The single-frame grille and the surrounding area are completely sealed so that the inflowing air reaches the radiator with almost no losses rather than becoming turbulent.
The interior of the Audi Q3 mirrors the exterior design’s sinewy and muscular styling. The wrap-around, a large arc above the dashboard and extending from one front door to the other, is a design feature borrowed from the brand’s large model series. The elegantly sweeping, horizontally stepped instrument panel features a large inlay on the passenger side.
The broad center console is asymmetrical and inclined slightly toward the driver. The clean layout and intuitive operation of all switches and controls on it – the control unit for the audio or MMI system, the strip with the secondary switches and the terminal for the air conditioning – are exemplary.
Manual air conditioning is standard. Deluxe two-zone automatic air conditioning that considers the position of the sun and humidity is available as an option. The large controls, which are spring-loaded, are an optical and tactile highlight. A display indicates the temperatures in each zone. The transition to the center console is home to the start-stop button for the ignition, which Audi packages with the optional convenience key.
The 6.5-inch or 7.0-inch display (standard with the concert radio and upwards), is retracted into the instrument panel. If you tap the top edge of the retracted monitor, it extends upward in a gentle, even motion into an excellent position where it can be read quickly. The fold-out monitor with its high-gloss black frame is a visual and technical highlight in the compact SUV class.
The instrument cluster beneath the rounded cowl also speaks the elegant Audi design language. The speedometer and the tachometer, into which the coolant temperature and fuel level indicators have been integrated, have black dials, white numbers and red needles. At night the instruments are lit in white, the buttons red.
Between the instruments is the center digital display. The optional Audi driver information system is available with a white or color display. The system pools all key information from the audio sources, the telephone, the vehicle and the navigation system. It is broken down into three display areas. An intelligent tab concept makes it very easy to use.
Integrated into the driver information system is the on-board computer with efficiency program. The computer gives the driver tips for fuel-efficient shifting. In models with a manual transmission, an enlarged representation of the gear-change indicator indicates when it is appropriate to shift gears. Another function provides information on which on-board consumers, such as the air conditioning or the rear window heating, are active and how they affect fuel consumption.
The Audi Q3 showcases the new generation of steering wheels that debuted in the A8 luxury sedan. They can be adjusted over a range of 50 millimeters (1.97 in) vertically and horizontally, feature a lightweight magnesium skeleton and come wrapped in leather as standard.
The split bottom spoke of the three-spoke sport steering wheel is an eye-catching and exclusive feature of the Q model family. The two upper spokes can be optionally equipped with paddles, buttons and rotating cylinders that the driver uses to control the on-board computer, the telephone and the audio system. Shift paddles for S tronic are another option.
Firm hold: the seats in the Q3
The front seats in the Audi Q3 offer excellent hold, guidance and support for persons of all sizes. Height-adjustable seats are standard. Options include power lumbar supports, heating and full power adjustment. The strongly bolstered sport seats feature adjustable seat cushion rake and length and come standard with a power lumbar support.
The rear seats are also comfortably shaped and upholstered for a pleasant, upright seating position. Their head restraints can be extended particularly far and lowered far enough so as not to impair the view in the rearview mirror. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roof line, even tall passengers enjoy sufficient headroom in the back, and there is also ample room for feet, knees, shoulders and elbows. Getting in and out of the vehicle is easy thanks to the raised seating position. The stepless door stops are very helpful in garages and narrow parking spots.
The Q3 offers plenty of storage at all of the seats. The console of the center tunnel is home to two cup holders, a 12-volt outlet and a storage bin. There are large pockets in the doors capable of holding 1.5-liter bottles, and there is a small, fold-out compartment to the left of the steering wheel. The base model has an additional compartment on the instrument panel rather than the on-board monitor. A height-adjustable center armrest is optionally available.
The optional storage package offers even more convenience. It includes fold-down compartments under the front seats, storage nets on the front seat backs, a multi-purpose retaining hook in the passenger foot well and a locking glove box.
Premium: the build quality
Evidence of the premium character of the Audi Q3 can be seen in every last detail in the interior – in the selection of the materials, in their processing and in the tight, even gaps. The surface of the instrument panel is softly backed with foam and elegantly textured. All buttons and controls move precisely. The subtle click sounds they make when actuated give audible expression to their technical perfection.
The finely honed interior is visually impressive. Many control elements are available in either standard or optional aluminum-look finishes, including the knobs of the automatic air conditioning, the knob for the lights, the trim around the power window switches and the frames around the door openers and the air vents. A leather-covered shift/selector lever with aluminum inlays is standard.
The round knob on the short selector lever of the S tronic lends it a particularly robust appearance.
Another exclusive solution in this segment is the LED interior lighting package – a technology that bathes the interior in dramatic light. Efficient white light-emitting diodes provide the cabin and reading lights. They illuminate the doors, the headlining, the foot wells, the vanity mirrors, the storage compartments and the air vent thumb wheels. LED light guides even accentuate the cup holders. With the Bose surround sound system, the frames of the woofer/mid-range speakers in the front doors form elegant rings of white light.
A tasteful hand when it comes to color and trim is also a matter of honor for Audi. Five interior color combinations are available – black/black, black/chestnut brown, black/chennai brown, black/titanium gray and truffle beige/pistachio beige. Q3 customers choosing the base version can order platinum-colored applications. Seats in pistachio beige have inlays in truffle beige.
Monometallic plastic inlays are standard. Audi also offers a choice of optional materials that underscore its leadership in interior design. The structure of the dark brown, open-pored larch wood has an authentic look and feel. The material 3D aluminum mesh uses a wire mesh to achieve a silvery-transparent look with a three-dimensional effect. Walnut and Aluminum Satellite – made from perforated aluminum – are other options.
There is also a wide choice of seat coverings. Besides the standard cloth, Audi also offers a second cloth variant and two grades of leather: Milano and Fine Nappa. The sport seats are also available in Pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara.
One upscale option is the S line sport package, which immerses the entire cabin and headlining in dynamic black. The floor mats feature gray piping, the door panels are covered in cloth, and inlays are available in a choice of brushed aluminum or piano finish.
The cloth seats feature embossed coverings in Sprint cloth and leather, and are optionally available in leather/Alcantara or Fine Nappa leather. The leather sport steering wheel and shift knob feature a special design, and S line logos adorn the door sill strips.
Exterior features of the S line sport package are 18-inch wheels from Audi exclusive, a sport suspension that lowers the body 20 millimeters (0.79 in) and badges on the front fenders. An exclusive Daytona Gray metallic finish is also available.
Practical: cargo area
The cargo area of the Audi Q3 can be used very efficiently. Its side walls are virtually plane, and at 781 millimeters (30.75 in), the loading lip is relatively low. Because the shock absorbers are located far to the outside in the body, the compartment is very spacious, offering a pass-through width of 1,067 millimeters (42.01 in).
In its standard configuration, the luggage compartment has a volume of 460 liters (16.24 sq ft). A two-piece, removable cargo area cover hides the contents from view. The split rear seat backs can be folded down quickly and easily in just one step without having to remove the head restraints. When loaded to the roof, cargo volume in this configuration increases to 1,365 liters (48.20 cu ft).
The tailgate opens electronically, including via the remote key fob, and swings up very high. A handle running the width of the tailgate makes it very easy to close again, and it latches with a satisfyingly solid sound. Its clasp has a spring-loaded cover that keeps it from getting dirty – another typical Audi detail, just like the high-quality coverings on the side walls and the cargo floor.
Many features make the cargo area even more practical. Two large hooks, four lashing eyes and a small storage compartment in the left wall are standard. Options available from Audi include a reversible cargo floor with a tub on the reverse side, a reversible mat, stainless steel loading edge trim and a cargo area package that includes a luggage net, a side-mounted net, a 12-volt outlet and a second light.
Another option is the pass-through hatch in a package with an armrest and cup holders. It can be supplemented with a ski bag. Customers who often transport large, bulky objects can order the passenger seat with a folding seat back. The optional trailer hitch has a swiveling ball neck that can be conveniently unlocked using a button in the cargo area.
The Audi Q3 has a maximum towing capacity of two metric tons, depending on the engine. The maximum roof load is 75 kilograms (165.35 lb). The standard roof rail, which comes in either black or anodized aluminum depending on the engine, can be fitted with a wide range of racks for bikes, skis, kayaks and other sports equipment from the Audi accessories program.
The Audi Q3 is the premium SUV in the compact segment, and its range of infotainment and multimedia systems taken directly from the luxury class underscores this status. As is typical for Audi, it follows a modular concept in which the components of the modular platform can be combined.
The chorus radio is the standard radio in the Q3. It offers a CD player that can also read mp3 formats and also has an Aux-in connection in the storage compartment in the center console. The chorus radio delivers its sound to eight passive speakers.
The concert radio is the first optional module. Its operating logic follows the MMI principle from the large Audi model lines. The manual fold-out monitor – a 6.5-inch color display – and a memory card reader are standard at this level. The concert radio has a tuner with phase diversity and a TMC tuner.
Audi offers the optional connectivity package featuring navigation system preparation in conjunction with the concert radio. The hardware is preinstalled, and the customer can activate the system at any time. An SDHC card with map data turns the radio into a navigation system. The connectivity package also includes a Bluetooth interface and the Audi music interface for the easy connection of a mobile player.
High-end media center: MMI navigation plus
Topping the infotainment lineup is MMI navigation plus, a high-end media center that is unmatched in this vehicle class. It comprises four primary components – the main unit with a 60 gigabyte hard drive, the radio unit, the MMI control terminal and the color display.
Thanks to its high 800 x 400 pixel resolution, the 7.0-inch monitor displays extremely sharp images. Graphics, including the cover art for the audio titles and the wizards for the main menus, are elegantly sculptured, as is the navigation map with many city models and points of interest.
A large rotary pushbutton is at the center of the MMI control unit on the front of the MMI navigation plus. It can be rocked like a joystick, which makes many functions even more convenient. Arranged around the pushbutton are the volume control, four soft keys and eight hard keys. The latter provide fast access to the Vehicle, Sound, Radio, Media, Menu, Telephone, Navigation and Info functions.
The MMI navigation plus system can store 20 GB of music on its hard drive. It includes two SDHC card readers and uses a Bluetooth interface and the Audi music interface to connect external players. The system also has a drive for audio and video DVDs and a voice control system that understands 12 languages. The driver can speak the destination address all at once, and also control the main radio, media and telephone functions by voice. The system’s on-board monitor can also display Cyrillic, Chinese and Japanese characters.
A number of additional modules are available for MMI navigation plus and the concert radio: a Bluetooth interface, a six-disc CD changer and a dual tuner for DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting) reception. A Bluetooth cellular phone preparation kit connected to the car’s antenna makes using the phone convenient. The top-of-the-line system can also be supplemented with an analog/digital TV tuner.
Two high-end sound systems are available for the Audi Q3: the 180-watt, six-channel Audi sound system with ten speakers and the Bose surround sound system. The latter features a ten-channel receiver delivering 465 watts of power to 14 speakers, including a subwoofer. Their neodymium magnets combine powerful performance with low weight. The system uses a special algorithm to play stereo signals as 5.1 surround sound. Its amplifier uses a microphone to analyze intrusive noises and adjusts music playback accordingly.
From the concert radio up, Audi networks all of these systems using a MOST bus, in which the controllers are arranged in a ring and communicate with one another via fiber-optic cables. Designed specifically for the transfer of media data, the MOST bus is extremely flexible and makes it possible to also retrofit complex add-ons, such as navigation or Internet functions.
Audi connect is the term used for the networking of the automobile with its surroundings, and the brand with the four rings is a leader in this field, too. The Bluetooth online car phone will be available in the Q3 somewhat later as a supplement to the MMI navigation plus. It uses a UMTS module and a WLAN hotspot to connect the compact premium SUV to the Internet.
The UMTS module, which is integrated into the head unit of the MMI navigation plus system, establishes the connection to the special Google services and to the World Wide Web and retrieves news, travel and weather information. Drivers can plan their routes on their computers at home or in the office, upload them to a special section of the Internet site www.audi.com and download them from there on starting the trip.
The navigation system uses the fast UMTS connection to also load satellite and aerial photographs from Google Earth. They appear on the monitor in a bird’s eye view or top-down view superimposed over the map. In addition, photos, descriptions and supplemental information about search results can also be called up.
The WLAN hotspot allows the passengers in the Audi Q3 to connect up to eight mobile end devices – from laptops to smart phones – to the Internet. Communication is via the roof antenna for enhanced quality and stability. A special modulation method called High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) enables UMTS data transfers at up to 7.2 Mbit per second. The connection is secured using the modern WPA2 encryption standard.
All the driver of the Audi Q3 needs to go online is a data-capable SIM card. Alternatively, the driver can connect his or her private cellular phone to the system via Bluetooth if the phone supports the SIM Access Profile. No additional fees or separate contracts are required. Given the high data volumes, however, Audi does recommend a flat rate.
Up-to-the-minute information: Audi online traffic information
With the Bluetooth online car phone, Q3 drivers can also use the new Audi traffic information online service, which displays traffic flow data on the navigation map. If the chosen route is free, it appears in green on the monitor. Yellow indicates dense traffic, orange represents slow-moving traffic and red denotes standing traffic. In this case, Audi traffic information online reports the hold-up in a text and computes an alternate route to the destination. The service is launching now in the first European countries.
The Audi system is much faster and more precise than previous TMC solutions because it draws its data from a central server that computes the current traffic situation using the latest data from multiple sources. The most important data are provided by around one million devices that use the cellular phone network to report their current position in short time cycles to a mobility services provider. The provider uses these data to generate a differentiated load diagram for the roads.
The upcoming Audi online services offer even more functions. The updated online voice input makes searching for points of interest (POI) even faster and more convenient because it uses voice recognition and the Google search engine via the Internet.
The assistance systems for the Audi Q3 also come from higher-end model lines. These systems make it easier for the driver to change lanes and maintain the lane, draw the driver’s attention to important traffic signs and assist with parking. Their high electronic intelligence underscores the exceptional position that the Q3 occupies in the compact SUV segment.
The lane change assistant Audi side assist activates at speeds above 30 km/h (18.64 mph). Two 24-gigahertz radar sensors in the rear observe what is happening behind the vehicle to a distance of 70 meters (230 ft). If another vehicle is in the critical zone – if it is riding in the blind spot or approaching rapidly from the rear – the so-called information stage is activated. A yellow LED indicator illuminates in the casing of the driver’s side mirror; the driver sees it only when looking directly into the mirror.
If the driver now activates the turn signal to change lanes nevertheless, the indicator becomes brighter and flashes multiple times. This signal – the warning stage – is clearly perceptible; the visual indications are directed at the driver. The signal’s brightness varies with the ambient light and can also be customized.
A second attractive assistance system in the Q3 is Audi active lane assist, which becomes operational at 65 km/h (40.39 mph). It uses a camera mounted in the base of the rearview mirror to detect the lane markings. It observes the road to a distance of more than 50 meters (164.04 ft) and a coverage angle of roughly 40 degrees, delivering 25 high-definition images per second.
Software detects the lane markings and the course the Audi Q3 is following between them. If the vehicle approaches a line without the turn signal being activated, the system helps the driver to steer back into the lane by intervening gently in the electromechanical steering. The driver uses the MMI to determine whether steering wheel vibration should also be used to indicate an unintended lane change.
The speed limit display uses the same video camera as Audi active lane assist. In addition to speed limit signs and the signs lifting the speed limits, the system’s image processing software also recognizes digital displays and pictogram-based supplemental signs, such as for wet conditions. This information is then compared against the data from the navigation system, the maximum permissible speeds in many European countries and information from the vehicle, such as whether the windshield wipers are on and the current time. The traffic signs are shown as graphics in the display of the DIS. The driver can switch between two different display modes.
Five versions: systems for easy parking
Five different systems for easy parking are available for the Audi Q3. The classic parking system, which uses the data from up to eight ultrasonic sensors, is available in three different configurations – for the rear only, for the front and the rear, or in combination with a reversing camera. The next step up is the park assist system, which is available in two versions. The full version is called park assist system with 360° display and reversing camera.
The park assist system can back the vehicle into parking spaces. To find a parking space, it uses additional lateral sensors that measure spots along the side of the road when traveling at moderate speeds (up to 40 km/h [24.85 mph] when parallel parking and 20 km/h (12.83 mph) when perpendicular parking). A notification appears in the driver information system display when the system finds a suitable spot. The sensors recognize obstacles such as posts even if they are located to the side of the vehicle and presents them on the monitor of the MMI system.
If the driver puts the vehicle into reverse, the system is activated and assumes control of the electromechanical steering. The driver must continue to accelerate, shift gears and brake. Visual and acoustic signals provide support. When parallel parking, it suffices if the space is roughly 0.8 meters (2.62 ft) longer than the vehicle. If necessary, the park assist will make multiple maneuvers, forwards and backwards. The maximum speed when parking is limited to 7 km/h (4.35 mph). The system provides similar assistance when leaving parallel parking spaces.
The Audi Q3 is being launched with a choice of three four-cylinder engines – two TFSI units and one TDI. All three displace 2.0 liters and have power outputs between 125 kW (170 hp) and 155 kW (211 hp). A second TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) will follow somewhat later. The engines in the Q3 follow the Audi philosophy of downsizing, substituting forced induction for displacement to achieve strong performance with low fuel consumption.
All engines come standard with the recuperation system, a solution from the Audi modular efficiency platform. The system uses intelligent voltage control for the alternator to recover energy during braking and coasting phases. The energy is stored temporarily in the battery and flows back into the on-board electrical system, relieving the load on the alternator and thus the engine the next time the car accelerates.
The start-stop system is another Audi efficiency technology. When the Q3 comes to a halt, the control unit shuts down the engine. The driver’s foot must keep the brake pedal depressed (if equipped with S tronic) or be removed from the clutch (if equipped with a manual transmission). A powerful starter restarts the engine quickly when the driver releases the brake or steps on the clutch again.
The start-stop system is only inactive during the engine’s early warmup phase, on steep slopes or if it is extremely cold. Both it and the recuperation system make a significant contribution to reduced fuel consumption.
TFSI technology: the gasoline engines
The abbreviation TFSI represents the combination of direct injection and turbocharging, a technology that Audi was the first carmaker in the world to introduce in 2004. The two technologies make an excellent team. The fuel injected directly into the combustion chambers is extremely turbulent, thus cooling the chamber walls. The resulting decrease in temperatures solves the problem inherent to all turbocharged engines – a tendency to knock, i.e. early detonation of the mixture on hot spots in the combustion chamber.
Audi can also operate its TFSI engines with a high compression ratio, which plays a major role in their efficiency.
The Audi Q3 uses two versions of the 2.0 TFSI with a displacement of 1,984 cc – one producing 125 kW (170 hp) and the other 155 kW (211 hp). The two-liter gasoline engine, a member of the state-of-the-art Audi 888 model series, is a born winner, having been named “Engine of the Year” five years in a row from 2005 to 2009 by an international jury.
Highly cultivated: two balance shafts
Among the highlights of the four-cylinder gasoline engine are the intake camshaft, which can be adjusted steplessly across a range of 60 degrees, and the two balance shafts. Equipped with counterweights, they counter-rotate in the crankcase to counteract second-order inertial forces, resulting in a cultivated, low-vibration engine. Weighing just 33 kilograms (72.75 lb), the rigid crankcase of gray cast iron provides good acoustic damping. The cylinder bores have been extensively machined so that the piston rings slide easily with reduced pretension.
A common rail unit injects the fuel into the combustion chambers at a maximum pressure of 150 bar through six-port nozzles. Flaps in the intake manifold swirls the fuel precisely with the intake air. The newly developed turbocharger can withstand exhaust temperatures of up to 980 degrees Celsius (1,796 degrees Fahrenheit), reducing fuel consumption at high load by as much as 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers. The intercooler combines high efficiency with low weight. The regulated oil pump operates at two pressure levels, which also helps to reduce fuel consumption.
The more powerful version of the 2.0 TFSI with 155 kW (211 hp) delivers a brawny and constant 300 Nm (221.27 lb-ft) to the crankshaft between 1,800 and 4,900 rpm. In combination with the standard seven-speed S tronic, the four-cylinder unit accelerates the Audi Q3 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 230 km/h (142.92 mph). Fuel consumption is just 7.7 liters per 100 km (30.55 US mpg) on average, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 179 grams per km (288.07 g/mile).
The 2.0 TFSI with 125 kW (170 hp) offers 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) of torque between 1,700 and 4,200 rpm. Coupled with a six-speed manual transmission, it accelerates the Q3 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.2 seconds. Top speed is 212 km/h (131.73 mph). Its average fuel consumption is 7.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (32.22 US mpg), which corresponds to 174 grams of CO2/km (280.03 g/mile).
Rounding out the Audi Q3 engine lineup somewhat later will be another powerful, turbocharged gasoline engine: the 2.5 TFSI. The sonorous five-cylinder will be the new top-of-the-line engine. With its brawny torque profile and power output of roughly 220 kW (300 hp), it will also top the compact SUV segment.
Groundbreaking efficiency: the TDI engines
The TDI engines from Audi also set new standards, and have done so ever since their introduction 22 years ago. They represent a modern, smart form of sportiness. Their high power outputs, powerful torque, low fuel consumption and cultivation combine to form a harmonious whole.
The long-stroke 2.0 TDI displacing 1,968 cc (bore x stroke 81.0 x 95.5 millimeters [3.19 x 3.76 in]) is a high-tech engine. It tips the scales at just 154 kilograms (339.51 lb). The toothed belt for the two camshafts and the ancillaries is particularly quiet and low-friction. Little energy is needed to drive the water pump and the regulated oil pump, and the crankshaft seals have been optimized for easy running. Two balance shafts rotate in the crankcase.
The common rail injection system generates up to 1,800 bar of system pressure. The fuel is very precisely nebulized into the combustion chambers via eight-port nozzles with up to six injection operations per work cycle. The turbocharger uses adjustable vanes for the spontaneous development of torque, and the induction pipe is made of lightweight polymer. The intake ports, the swirler flaps and the bowls in the pistons generate targeted turbulence in the inflowing air.
The result of all of these measures is excellent thermodynamics in the combustion chambers, allowing the 2.0 TDI to be operated with a high exhaust gas recirculation rate. A compact intercooler greatly reduces the exhaust gas temperature, and the cooler combustion significantly reduces raw emissions of nitrogen oxides.
The two-liter, four-cylinder engine consumes just 5.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (39.87 US mpg) on average, which corresponds to 156 grams of CO2/km (251.06 g/mile). With 130 kW (177 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque – the latter available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm – the sprint to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes 8.2 seconds, and acceleration only ends when a top speed of 212 km/h (131.73 mph) is reached. The powerful two-liter TDI is mated to the S tronic.
Another version of the 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp), combined with a manual transmission and front-wheel drive, will follow somewhat later. With 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm, it accelerates the Q3 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 202 km/h (125.52 mph). With an average fuel consumption of less than 5.2 liters per 100 km (45.23 US mpg), the Audi Q3 with 103 kW (140 hp) is the most fuel-efficient premium SUV on the market. With a full 64-liter (16.91 US gallons) fuel tank, it has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
The engines in the Audi Q3 work together with a variety of different transmissions. The 2.0 TFSI with 125 kW (170 hp) and the 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) to appear somewhat later are mated to a manual six-speed gearbox. Models with the two top-of-the-line engines come standard with a seven-speed S tronic. All of the transmissions feature hydraulic bearings; this minimizes the propagation of vibrations and noise. The manual gearbox has a particularly lightweight magnesium casing. It features short, precise throws and is highly efficient.
With both transmissions, the short-ratio lower gears provide for powerful acceleration. The long ratios of the highest gears reduce engine speed and with it fuel consumption.
High-performance: the seven-speed S tronic
The seven-speed S tronic is a versatile transmission. Drivers can let it shift automatically or change gears themselves using the selector lever or the optional paddles on the steering wheel. Two driving modes are available: In D mode, the engine runs as often as possible at low revs; in S mode, the driving style is sporty and the revs are higher.
The seven-speed S tronic transfers the engine’s power via three shafts – one drive shaft and two output shafts. This layout enables a short design, which is necessary for pairing it with the transverse four-cylinder engines.
Like all dual-clutch transmissions from Audi, the seven-speed S tronic comprises two transmission structures and integrates two multi-plate clutches. The large K1 clutch located on the outside conducts the engine torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for the odd gears 1, 3, 5 and 7. A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft. It is connected to the second, smaller K2 clutch, which is located inside its larger sibling, and which controls the gear wheels for the gears 2, 4 and 6, as well as reverse gear.
Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one is connected to the engine at any one time. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission structure. Shifts are performed by switching the clutches. Shifting gears takes only a few hundredths of a second and is completed with almost no interruption of traction. It is so dynamic, fluid and smooth that the driver hardly notices it.
The mechatronics module on the outside of the seven-speed S tronic is a compact and robust block comprising the control unit and the control and positioning valves. Among other things, it varies the speed of gear changes and precisely regulates the force required.
The management system for the multi-plate clutches is extremely precise. The transmission is responsive even in stop-and-go traffic and while maneuvering.
The oil in the seven-speed S tronic cools and lubricates the gears and the clutches. It also drives many of the components of the mechatronics module. A positioning valve regulates the flow of oil based on demand, keeping it as low as possible. The high-tech transmission can withstand heavy loads. A carbon coating makes the synchro rings extremely durable; gears one through three and the reverse gear are shifted via a triple-cone synchronizer.
One innovation featured in the S tronic is the free-wheel function. If the driver has selected “Efficiency” mode in the optional Audi drive select system, the clutch disengages when coasting, regardless of which gear is currently engaged. The sporty SUV free-wheels, which further reduces its fuel consumption.
Sportiness and stability: the drivetrain
The Audi Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp), to follow somewhat later, drives the front wheels. All other engines are paired with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its greatest strength lies in the enhanced slip-free acceleration, road dynamics, safety and directional stability that it delivers. The compact SUV is dynamic and stable, even in wet and slippery conditions. It safely delivers its power to the road when exiting corners.
The heart of the quattro drive system in the Audi Q3 is an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. In the interest of better axle load distribution, it is located on the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear axle differential. Inside the clutch is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath. The metal friction rings are arranged behind one another in pairs – one ring of each pair is rigidly meshed with the housing, which rotates with the prop shaft; the other ring is meshed with the output shaft to the rear axle differential.
During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If traction decreases there, the clutch can transfer torque steplessly to the rear axle in just a few milliseconds by forcing the packages of plates together via controlled action.
A pressure reservoir helps the electric reciprocating piston pump to develop the necessary oil pressure, which can reach over 100 bar. If a wheel on one of the axles should slip, it is braked by the electronic differential lock (EDL).
The Audi Q3 brings more sportiness to the compact premium SUV class. Its balanced chassis combines agile handling, supreme safety and great comfort. The best place to experience its qualities is on winding country roads – the precision with which the car responds to the steering input and the stability with which it takes corners. The responsive suspension smoothes out all types of uneven road surfaces with ease. The steering provides precise feedback, a taut, precise steering feel and composed, quiet tracking.
Very sophisticated: the suspension
The front wheel suspension has a track width of 1,571 millimeters (61.85 in) and follows a classic design. It is a McPherson strut construction with lower wishbones of forged aluminum. The subframe to which they are mounted is made of a chill-cast lightweight alloy, which has a favorable effect on the distribution of weight between the front and rear axles. This figure is roughly 58 to 42 percent. The subframe is rigidly bolted to the body, which further enhances its rigidity.
The electromechanical rack-and-pinion steering impresses with high efficiency. Because it consumes no energy when driving straight ahead, it reduces fuel consumption by as much as 0.3 liters per 100 kilometers. It has a direct steering ratio of 16.4:1, and steering boost gradually decreases with increasing speed.
The steering is networked with a variety of sensors and driver assistance systems on board the Q3. This tight networking enables the steering to work closely together with the optional Audi active lane assist and the park assist systems.
The four-link rear axle of the Audi Q3 has a track width of 1,575 millimeters (62.01 in). Its trailing links absorb the propulsive and braking forces. Its bearings are rather large for a more comfortable ride. On the other hand, the three wishbones per wheel are attached very rigidly to the steel subframe for optimum handling characteristics. Large rubber-metal bearings connect the subframe to the body.
The links of the rear axle are made of high-strength grades of steel, and the wheel carriers are cast aluminum. The shock absorbers and the compact coil springs are separate from one another, which benefits cargo area volume. Stabilizer bars are used at the front and rear axles.
Thanks to a generous 17 centimeters (6.69 in) of ground clearance, the Q3 handles rough terrain with ease. Upon request, Audi equips the Q3 with the S line sport suspension with tauter springs, dampers and bearings. It lowers the body by 20 millimeters (0.79 in).
Four driving modes: Audi drive select
The Q3 is available with optional Audi drive select driving dynamics system – a software module in the central control unit (gateway) where all of the bus systems come together. At the push of a button, the driver can decide at any time how he or she would like to drive the compact SUV – in the comfortable “Comfort” mode, the balanced “Auto” mode or the sporty “Dynamic” mode. In the fourth mode, “Efficiency,” all components including the cruise control and air conditioning are optimized for fuel consumption. All adjustments are made harmoniously so that they make their presence known to the driver but do not irritate.
Audi drive select alters the characteristics of the electronic gas pedal and the electromechanical power steering. The S tronic, adaptive light and the optional active damper control can also be integrated into the system.
The CES dampers (CES: continuously controlled electronic suspension) are managed by a fast computer. Supplied with a large amount of data, it manages the suspension’s function as appropriate for the condition of the road, the driver’s style and the mode selected in Audi drive select.
The heart of the CES dampers is an electronically controlled valve that steplessly varies the flow of oil. The positioning time is just a few milliseconds. A large cross-section provides for a soft, comfortable ride. During sporty driving, hard braking or sudden avoidance maneuvers, on the other hand, the valve impedes the flow and the Q3 is intimately connected to the road. The steering response becomes even more precise, and the specific stabilization of each wheel makes the self-steering behavior even more neutral and safe.
The Audi Q3 rolls off the assembly line with size 6.5 J x 16 forged alloy wheels with a seven-arm design and 215/65 tires. Models with the two top-of-the-line engines come standard with 7 J x 17, ten-spoke wheels and 235/55 tires.
18-inch wheels in a variety of designs are available as options from Audi, and quattro GmbH offers 8.5 J x 19 wheels with 255/40 tires.
All tires are characterized by low rolling resistance, including the optional winter and all-season tires. Audi offers an optional tire pressure indicator. A repair kit comes standard; a space-saving spare tire is available as an option.
The brake system is an excellent match with the sporty character of the compact SUV. The pedal feel is spontaneous and firm, enabling the driver to precisely meter the response. With all engine versions, the front discs are vented and measure 312 mm (12.28 in) in diameter; the solid rear discs have a diameter of 282 mm (11.10 in). The electromechanical parking brake is integrated into the rear brake system. It also serves as an emergency brake, if necessary.
The ESP stabilization system in the Audi Q3 is a complete new development. When braking on surfaces with different coefficients of friction, it prevents the car from pulling to one side. If a skid is imminent, it supports corrections that defuse the situation. Some of its functions have been specially tailored for the compact SUV. One of these is the rollover prevention function, which uses fast interventions with strong braking at the wheel to prevent the inside wheel in a curve from possibly lifting up during extreme driving maneuvers.
The ESP also includes trailer stabilization and a dry braking function. The latter periodically cleans the brake discs of moisture and dirt to prevent fade in wet conditions.
Another high-end feature of the ESP is the electronic limited slip differential. In the front-wheel drive Q3, it interacts with the front axle as opposed to both axles in the quattro versions. When data from multiple input signals indicate to the control unit that the powered inside wheel in a curve is relieved too much, it initiates a small and precise brake intervention there. The intervention causes excess torque to flow to the outside wheel.
At the same time, the difference between the drive forces generates a certain yaw moment that helps the driver by turning the car very slightly into the corner. Self-steering behavior remains neutral longer, and handling becomes more precise, agile and stable.
All Audi Q3 models are equipped with hill hold assist, which uses the electromechanical parking brake. It maintains the brake pressure for a brief time after the driver steps off of the brake pedal. Still to come is hill-descent assist, which maintains a constant speed while going downhill of between 10 and 20 km/h (6.21 and 12.43 mph), depending on the surface.
The compact premium SUV rolls off the assembly line with a comprehensive array of standard features. These include a leather steering wheel, manual air conditioning, an electromechanical parking brake, the chorus CD radio with eight speakers, height-adjustable front seats and a radio-controlled central locking system. An extensive package of restraint systems, Isofix child seat anchor points in the rear, hill hold assist plus electrically heated and power-adjustable side mirrors round out the equipment list.
Standard exterior equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels and a black roof rail. ESP with electronic limited slip differential makes handling even sportier and safer. The start-stop system and the recuperation system enhance efficiency.
All three versions of the Q3 initially available distribute the engine’s power to all four wheels via quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Models with the two top-of-the-line engines roll off the assembly line with the seven-speed S tronic.
17-inch wheels, a high-gloss package and an anodized aluminum roof rail on the body set sporty and visual accents with the most powerful TFSI and TDI models.
The options also reflect the character of the Q3. They are elegant, sporty, comfortable and practical, with many coming directly from the luxury class. One of these is the panoramic glass roof in the style of the large Audi SUVs, the Q5 and the Q7. It comprises two tinted glass panels. It opens by sliding the mobile front panel back over the fixed rear panel.
A wind deflector reduces noise and drafts. The panoramic glass roof is operated via a four-way switch, and a blind protects against the sun’s rays.
There are a number of high-end lighting options available: xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights, the high-beam assistant including light and rain sensor, and the adaptive light system. Add-on body parts are available in three color variants, and there is a choice of two styling packages.
Tinted rear windows and a noise-damping windshield further increase comfort in the cabin.
Sporty: attractive options
The Audi Q3 flaunts its sporty nature with numerous attractive options. The range of alloy wheels includes sizes up to 19 inches, and a tire pressure indicator is available as an option. Other options include the Audi drive select driving dynamics system, adaptive shock absorbers and the S line sport package. Hill-descent assist will be available later.
Upon request, Audi equips its compact premium SUV with numerous convenience features. The convenience key, for example, can stay in the jacket pocket – the Q3 unlocks when the driver pulls the door handles and starts at the push of the start-stop button.
The convenience key stores vehicle data that are important for service. The rear doors and the power rear windows are protected with electronic child-proof locks, which are packaged with the deactivatable passenger airbag. Buttons are used to activate and deactivate the locks.
Other convenience options available from Audi are an alarm system, folding side mirrors and cruise control. Two-zone, deluxe automatic air conditioning, a headlight washer system, an automatic anti-dazzle interior mirror, an LED interior lighting package, rear side airbags and two different versions of the driver information system are also available.
The seats can be upgraded with heating, a power-adjustable lumbar support, full power adjustment and a center armrest with a storage compartment. Audi also offers optional sport seats. There are also a number of steering wheels from which to choose, some of which include steering paddles for the S tronic.
The Q3 is a versatile companion for every day. Clever options make it even more practical: a pass-through hatch in the rear seat including a centre armrest and cup holders, a ski and snowboard bag, a storage and cargo area package, a reversible mat and a reversible cargo floor. Audi equips door entry sills with aluminum inlays in combination with the stainless steel loading edge trim.
A front passenger seat with folding back rest and a trailer hitch with a swiveling ball neck further expands the range of applications for the compact SUV.
The infotainment systems are particularly attractive – and extraordinary for this vehicle class. They begin with the concert radio, which includes a fold-out monitor, and extend through the Connectivity package to MMI navigation plus and the Bose surround sound system. Another high-end module to follow later is the Bluetooth online car phone, which connects the Q3 to the Internet and the new online services from Audi.
The range of driver assistance systems also goes far beyond what is usually found in this segment. Audi side assist supports the driver when changing lanes, and Audi active lane assist helps to maintain the lane.
The speed limit display recognizes important traffic signs, and five different parking systems are available to make parking more convenient. Two of them autonomously steer the Q3 into the parking spot.
Trendsetters, couples and families: the customer groups
The Audi Q3 is a premium SUV that appeals to customers from three different groups: trendsetters, couples and families. They all enjoy an active and modern lifestyle. When choosing a car, they place particular value on compact dimensions, progressive and distinctive design, individuality and multifunctional use.
The first group is made up of young, mostly male customers. They are over 30, successful in their careers and feel at home in an active, modern and urban world. The members of the second group – couples and families with children under ten – are looking for a multifunctional SUV with room for families and recreational activities that is both sporty and powerful. Best agers, i.e. young-at-heart couples over the age of 50 with adult children, most appreciate the tidy dimensions, the good visibility, the raised seating position and the easy entry and exit.