|July 5, 2011
Source: Audi of America
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.