With the Q2 now taking the entry-level tag, and the Q5 growing bigger, the next-gen Q3 will increase in size and move to a new platform. Audi isn’t expected to unveil it before the end of 2018, but here’s an early preview…
When you think of the Audi Q3, three aspects are a given – it’ll be comfortable, feature-rich, and offer a fuss-free driving experience. This might sound like an oversimplification, sure, but this is perhaps the best way to describe the baby Audi SUV that was launched way back in 2011.
At present, six years later, Audi is working hard to develop the second-generation model and build on the success of the original Q3. The next-gen Q3 is expected to be launched internationally within a year, and bring with it significant innovations. While the current model doesn’t have many faults, we do think that there are some areas that do need to be addressed – such as the lack of space at the back, especially in a primarily chauffer-driven market like India.
Consequently, it looks like the proportions of this compact SUV will change in the new model. That’s because the next generation car will ditch the current car’s PQ35 platform in favour of the more advanced and lightweight MQB platform. The wheelbase of the current model measures 2,600mm (identical to the Q2), and it should increase to at least 2,640mm in the new model because of the MQB platform. In fact, it can stretch up to 2,680mm to match its cousin, the Volkswagen Tiguan. It goes without saying that the overall length of Q3 will increase from the present 4,390mm to around 4,430mm. The adoption of MQB platform will also make it more dynamic. With the Q3 getting a bigger footprint, Audi will have a more diversified line-up with the Q2, Q3 and Q5 – while there will be a sporty Q4 joining the range in future as well.
In these renderings, you can see that the next-gen Q3 will have a more slender and athletic body. But the design won’t be revolutionary, so don’t expect any dramatic changes. However, just like the new Q5 and A5, the new Q3’s bodywork will have some neat and crisp touches.
Naturally, the front-end will feature a bigger single frame grille, with redesigned headlights and a more sculpted hood. The tail will feature a more prominent and longer set of LED lights. Moreover, as already mentioned, the future Q3 will offer more legroom for passengers in the rear seats – with the aim being to accommodate three passengers in the back. And, not just passengers, the new platform should also help increase the boot capacity.
On the inside, the changes will be far more evident. Let’s just say that things will be more digital in the cabin. Part of the updates will include Audi’s Virtual Cockpit. Plus, it’ll also get an advanced infotainment system with wider connectivity options.
Under the hood, the new Q3 will be getting either the 1.4 TFSI or the new 1.5 TFSI four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engines – the latter has already been launched in some global markets in the A3. The diesel range could also see a smaller 1.6 TDI motor make an entry, along with the tried-and-tested 2.0 TDI. Quattro AWD will continue to be offered, but there’ll also be front-wheel drive versions.
Taking on Tesla
The e-Tron Sportback, and the e-tron Quattro, will be manufactured at Audi’s Brussels’ factory.
FIRST AUDI ELECTRIC SUV BY 2018?
The new Q3 will feature only traditional engines initially, but an all-electric SUV from Audi isn’t too far from becoming reality. In another year, the e-Tron Quattro concept (in the photo below) is likely to be launched. It’s a big electric SUV that guarantees sports performance and high levels of autonomy, which is expected to herald the next generation of models from Ingolstadt – which will feature not only zero-emission running, but also advanced dynamic capabilities. In 2019, it’ll be followed by the e-Tron Sportback (in the photo below in its concept version), which is a coupé crossover with a strong and original aesthetic. Both the models will be manufactured at Audi’s Brussels’ factory. In the future, the electric versions will probably be manufactured at other sites around the world as well. The e-Tron Sportback concept presents a technical architecture that will be replicated in future Audi battery-powered models – an electric motor powering the front axle and a second one for the rear wheels to ensure all-wheel drive; power output of around 430bhp, which can be increased to over 500bhp in boost mode; a 0-100km/h acceleration time of 4.5 seconds, and a 95kWh battery pack that will ensure a driving range of 500 kilometres. And that’s not all. 2020 could also see Audi welcome an all-electric compact SUV within the same segment as the Q3. This new Sport Utility with zero emissions will complement Audi’s already electrified models, such as the hybrid A3 Sportback e-Tron and Q7 e-Tron (which also features a diesel engine). Moreover, by the end of 2018, a new hybrid plug-in version of the A8 may also get introduced.
Paving the way
Audi’s big electric SUV, the e-tron Quattro concept from 2015, will make it to series production.
CONFIRMED: THE NAUGHTY RS
Today, the RS Q3 definitely represents the most vigorous version within the Q3 range. And this is going to continue in the new iteration. It’ll likely have both its versions – Standard (335bhp) and Performance (362bhp). The RS versions will be available only with all-wheel drive and an S-Tronic transmission (dual-clutch automatic), which will be powered by that bonkers five cylinder 2.5-TFSI engine – meaning that this high-performance version will continue to live up to the expectations of its demanding clientele.
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Explore Audi Q3 technical specifications including dimensions, engines, gearbox, mileage, seating capacity, boot space, etc.
Find out all features available on the Audi Q3 – including safety features, interior equipment, creature comforts, trim versions, etc.