The strengths of an SUV and the attractions of a coupé are given equal billing in the new Audi Q3 Sportback, which will be available to order in the UK from next month to complement the acclaimed second generation Q3 range.
Combining high-riding presence and versatility with sleek curves and sharp handling, the new Audi compact crossover will be offered in a choice of Sport, S line, Edition 1 and top tier Vorsprung trim lines, and will arrive with its first UK customers in the autumn.
The Audi Q3 Sportback is a car for customers who value expressive design as highly as technical innovation and dynamic aptitude. Its statement feature is the large, octagonal Singleframe which underlines its membership of the new Audi Q family. Here, its silver finish forms the outline of a particularly striking honeycomb grille structure. The trapezoidal air inlets, which are connected to each other by a horizontal blade in the bumper, also add emphasis, as do the slim, wedge-shaped headlights, which feature LED technology in all versions.
The Audi Q3 Sportback measures 4,500 mm in length, stands 1,567 mm tall (including the roof antenna), and is 1,843 mm wide. This makes the SUV coupé 16 mm longer, 49 mm lower and 6 mm slimmer than the Audi Q3. The wheelbase is exactly 2,680 mm (8.8 ft) in both models and forms the basis for an appropriately generous interior space allowance.
The coupé-like passenger cab stands in contrast to the front, which is characterised by clear SUV features. Thanks to the low roof, which gives way to flat, sloping D-pillars, the side view of the Audi Q3 Sportback makes it appear clearly longer than its sister model Q3. In reality, it is a difference of only 16 mm. In addition, the SUV coupé’s 49mm lower roof curvature, and the elegant shoulder line that runs lower than in the Q3, moves the body’s optical focus downwards to lend a more muscular air. Above the wheels, strong contours draw attention to the quattro drive, which comes as standard with most engines. Shadowing at the bottom of the door also emphasises the midsection of the SUV coupé and reinforces its more sporting stance.
At the rear, a long roof edge spoiler sits above the slim window to emphasise the width of the crossover. The rear lights, which reference the design of the LED headlights, also contribute to this. A diffusor with a wide blade and two conspicuous ribs forms the bottom section.
The new Q3 Sportback will be available in a choice of 11 paint colours, all of which are combined with contrasting bumpers and arches in a Manhattan Grey paint finish. 18-inch alloy wheels and LED headlamps with LED daytime running lamps and dynamic rear indicators are standard Sport features. The S line trim line brings larger 19-inch alloy wheels, privacy glass and an exclusive design for the bumpers, sill trims and diffuser, and also adds S line-specific interior detailing. Above it, the Edition 1 and Vorsprung models go a step further by upsizing to a 20-inch wheel and adding a black styling pack colouring elements such as the grille surround and window cappings. They also upgrade to Matrix LED lighting technology for maximum illumination through dimming of individual segments of the headlamp unit to divert the beam around leading and oncoming traffic.
The sleekly sculpted exterior is complemented by a sophisticated cabin design inspired by the brand’s full-size models. Its focal point is a reductive two-level instrument panel incorporating the new 10.1-inch high resolution MMI touch display giving access to the top-of-the-line MMI navigation plus system which is standard for all UK Q3 Sportback models. The various functions are displayed on the MMI Touch display and in the Audi virtual cockpit with its 10.25-inch screen in the instrument binnacle, which is also standard. An even more panoramic version with additional functions - the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus – is fitted to Edition 1 and Vorsprung models. Function control is possible via the central touch screen or the multi-function steering wheel, and all UK Q3 models are also equipped with new natural-language voice control, which responds to enquiries not only with the benefit of information stored onboard, but also with detailed knowledge from the cloud.
The Audi connect portfolio which is offered on a three-year subscription basis as standard for all UK versions supplements the navigation using the LTE Advanced standard. It provides its services in virtually all European countries via a SIM card which is permanently installed in the vehicle. These services include the high resolution satellite images of Google Earth, traffic information online, the point-of-interest search as well as information on parking spaces and filling stations, which appear directly on the navigation map – where necessary also with dynamic additional information such as prices and availability. Audi connect also includes media streaming, online news, access to Twitter and to the e-mail inbox. A Wi-Fi hotspot is also available as an option.
A range of hardware modules supplements the infotainment portfolio. The Audi smartphone interface which is standard in the UK links customers’ iOS and Android cell phones and places their Apple Car Play or Android Auto environment on the MMI display. It also adds two USB ports in the centre console which offer a loading and data function for playing music from a portable media player via the loudspeakers in the car. One of them is compatible with the new type C with fast transfer rates.
In the first launch phase two engines will power the new Audi Q3 Sportback in the UK - one TFSI and one TDI - both of which have been certified to the Euro 6d-TEMP emission standard. The four-cylinder direct injection units use turbocharging and are fitted with a particulate filter. The 2.0 TDI provides 150PS in the Q3 Sportback 35 TDI while the 2.0 TFSI in the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI quattro offers 230PS. Soon after launch a 190PS version of the 2.0 TDI will join the range exclusively in conjunction with quattro drive in the Q3 Sportback 40 TDI quattro.
Another notable post-launch introduction will be the 1.5-litre TFSI engine which will follow in the Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI. It provides 150PS and is aided by cylinder-on-demand technology, which at low and medium loads deactivates the second and third cylinders to reduce consumption.