Inspired by the Q8, the second-gen Audi Q3 gets sporty exterior futuristic interior.
Audi has dropped the veil on the 2019 Q3. Highlights include a bigger cabin, cutting edge tech and new interior. Most importantly, it dons a fresh new design – which, we think, is the main talking point here.
Since 2011, the Audi Q3 has gone on to become one of the best-selling vehicles from Ingolstadt around the world – even in India, it still continues to sell in good numbers. That said, the first-gen model of the Q3 has been a little too long in the tooth, and despite repeated makeovers, it felt a little outdated, especially when compared to rivals like the BMW X1 and the recently introduced Volvo XC40. With the new model, then, Audi has bounced back in the game, and from what’s been shared in fine print, it seems to have all the right ingredients.
Like we mentioned earlier, styling is the new Q3’s main USP. With the second-generation model, the Q3 looks sporty, well-proportioned and contemporary. In fact, it looks like a mini-version of the company's current SUV flagship, the Q8. Some of the defining changes on the outside include a new and wider single-frame grille with eight vertical chrome slats, new LED headlamps and new tail-lamps. Also note how the design lines have grown taut and muscular, especially the pronounced haunches. The new Q3 will come with 17- and 18-inch wheels as standard, but customers will be able to upgrade to 20-inch wheels. Matrix LED headlamps are optional, too.
The interior is typical of new age Audi cars, meaning most of the buttons are now replaced by touch panels. The dashboard now features an 8.8-inch touchscreen (standard), while higher trims get a bigger 10.1-inch display. Audi’s Virtual Cockpit is finally available in Q3, replacing analogue dials of yore – a 10.25-inch cluster is standard, and 12.3-inch version is optional. There will be more space in the cabin as well, claims Audi. That is because the second-gen Q3 is now underpinned by Volkswagen’s MQB platform. This results in a 78mm longer wheelbase, while the overall length has also gone up by 97mm to 4,485mm.
Powertrain options in the new Q3 will include four engines in total – one diesel and three petrol. The diesel engine will be a 2.0-litre turbo four unit that will develop 148bhp, while the petrol range will kick-start with a 148bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo, which will be followed by a 2.0-litre unit, offered in 187bhp and 227bhp versions. All petrol models will come with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission as standard, but a six-speed manual will also be made available with the 1.5-litre petrol version. Quattro all-wheel drive will be offered in 2.0-litre petrol trims only and rest will come with front-wheel drive. Expect Audi to launch a more powerful derivative of the 2.0-litre diesel engine later on with all-wheel drive, and that’s what we expect will also come to India.
There’s no confirmation on when the new Audi Q3 will go on sale in India, but given its popularity among luxury car buyers in India, we expect it to arrive here by the end of 2018 or early in 2019.