2015 Audi Q3 Facelift officially unveiled with an updated design

Article by Andrew Christian, on November 6, 2014

The Audi Q3 made its debut back in 2011 and since then, it became a successful model for the German company. Still, Audi needed to improve its smallest crossover and unveiled today the facelifted version. When it comes to design, the redesigned Audi Q3 arrived with a new Singleframe grille, brand new headlights which are offered as standard with xenon plus technology and LED daytime running lights, optional LED headlights as well as redesigned LED taillights.

At the top of the two new Q3 trim lines design and sport are the S line sport package, the S line exterior package, the Audi exclusive design package and the Audi exclusive exterior design package. Engine lineup comprises three TFSI units and three clean diesel four-cylinder units, developing between 120 hp (88 kW) and 220 hp (162 kW). Due to their fuel efficiency, the 1.4 TFSI COD and the 2.0 TDI bear the “Audi ultra” badge.

When equipped with a manual transmission, the Audi Q3 1.4 TFSI ultra is able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 9.2 seconds, while top speed is limited at 204 km/h or almost 17 mph. The engine develops 150 hp (110 kW) and 340 Nm (250 lb-ft) of torque Using 17-inch tires optimized for fuel consumption, this model needs only 5.5 liters per 100 km (42.8 US mpg), corresponding to 127 grams CO2 per km.

When paired with the six-speed S tronic, fuel consumption increases to 5.8 liters per 100 km (40.6 US mpg), corresponding to 134 g/km of CO2. Using the six-speed S tronic, the Q3 is able to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.9 seconds, with a top speed limited at 204 km/h or 127 mpg. Meanwhile, the 2.0-liter TFSI petrol engine generates 180 hp (132 kW) and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque.

With these numbers, the vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.3 seconds when power is delivered only to the front wheels and in 7.6 seconds when using a permanent all-wheel-drive Quattro system, with a top speed is 217 km/h or 135 mph. Fuel consumption is 6.7 l/100 km for the FWD version and 6.9 l/100 km when using the Quattro AWD system.

With the seven-speed S tronic transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive, the Q3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.6 seconds, while top speed is 217 km/h or 143 mph. Fuel consumption is 6.5 l/100 km (36.2 US mph), with CO2 emissions of 149 g/km. The most powerful version of the 2.0-liter TFSI engine generates 220 hp (162 kW) and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque.

Bolted to a seven-speed S tronic transmission which delivers the power to the Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system, the Q3 accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.4 seconds, with a top speed limited at 233 km/h or 145 mph. Fuel consumption is 6.6 l/100 km (35.6 US mpg), corresponding to CO2 emissions of 152 g/km.

The highly efficient 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel produces 150 hp (110 kW) and 340 Nm (250 lb-ft) of torque. The figures with manual transmission and S tronic, respectively: 9.3/9.3 seconds, 204/204 km/h (126.8 mph), 4.9/5.1 liters per 100 kilometers (48.0/46.1 US mpg) and 129/132 grams CO2 per kilometer (207.6/212.4 g/mi).

The most powerful version of the 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine produces 184 hp (135 kW) and 380 Nm (280 lb-ft) of torque. The figures: 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 8.3/7.9/7.9 seconds; top speed 219/219/219 km/h (136.1 mph); NEDC consumption 5.0/5.2/5.1 liters per 100 kilometers (47.0/45.2/46.1 US mpg); CO2 emissions 131/137/134 grams per kilometer (210.8/220.5/215.7 g/mi).

The 2015 Audi Q3 Facelift will hit the dealerships in February and will start at 29,600 euros in Germany, including 19% VAT. [source: Audi]

Press Release

The new Audi Q3

Since its market launch in fall 2011, the Q3 model series has been a successful model for the Audi brand. But Audi is also constantly improving good and successful models. The new Audi Q3 and RS Q3 models not only feature a refreshed design, they also boast a number of technical innovations.

Engines

The engine lineup for the Audi Q3 comprises three TFSI units and three TDI clean diesel four-cylinder units. Displacement ranges from 1.4 to 2.0 liters and output from 88 kW (120 hp) to 162 kW (220 hp). All are turbocharged, direct-injection units and comply with the limits of the Euro 6 emission standard. With the help of sophisticated thermal management, they quickly come up to operating temperature following a cold start.

Compared with the previous model, performance is even better and CO2 emissions have been reduced by up to 17 percent (2.0 TDI manual FWD). The 1.4 TFSI COD and the 2.0 TDI clean diesel with 110 kW (150 PS) bear the "ultra" badge as proof of their extraordinary efficiency. Audi models with the name affix "ultra" attain best values in fuel consumption and emissions as the result of a considerable technological input and are the most fuel-efficient automobiles in their segment. The start-stop system is standard with all variants. When braking, it deactivates the engine shortly before the car comes to a stop.

ultra: the 1.4 TFSI COD

The 1.4 TFSI COD is an example of Audi's rightsizing strategy. Displacing just 1,395 cc (bore x stroke 74.5 x 80.0 millimeters [2.9 x 3.1 in]), it produces a powerful 110 kW (150 hp) and 250 Nm (184.4 lb-ft) of torque, which is available between 1,500 and 3,500 rpm. Equipped with the manual transmission, the Audi Q3 1.4 TFSI ultra accelerates in 9.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) and reaches a top speed of 204 km/h (126.8 mph).

With 17-inch tires optimized for fuel consumption, its NEDC consumption is just 5.5 liters per 100 Kilometers (42.8 US mpg), corresponding to 127 grams CO2 per kilometer (204.4 g/mi). With the optional six-speed S tronic, these values are 5.8 liters per 100 kilometers and 134 g CO2 per kilometer (40.6 US mpg and 215.7 g/mi). The standard sprint takes 8.9 seconds, and top speed is 204 km/h (126.8 mph).

The 1.4 TFSI COD, which with its aluminum crankcase weighs barely more than 110 kilograms (242.5 lb), features the highly innovative cylinder on demand (COD) system, which when driven moderately reduces fuel consumption by up to 20 percent. At low to moderate load and engine speed, it deactivates cylinders two and three by closing the valves and shutting off fuel injection. The engine runs as a two-cylinder engine until the driver presses down harder on the gas pedal. The operating points in the active cylinders are displaced toward higher loads, increasing efficiency. The extremely well-balanced engine remains very smooth.

Sporty: the 2.0 TFSI

The 2.0 TFSI is available in two variants, with numerous engineering features documenting Audi's high-end competence. These include the additional indirect injection supplementing the direct injection of the FSI, the Audi valvelift system to adjust the valve stroke on the exhaust side and particularly effective thermal management, which uses a rotary valve module and an exhaust manifold integrated into the cylinder head. Displacement is 1,984 cc (bore x stroke 82.5 x 92.8 millimeters [3.2 x 3.7 in]).

Even in the version with 132 kW (180 hp) and 320 Nm (236.0 lb-ft), the latter between 1,400 and 3,900 rpm, the two-liter is a sporty engine. In combination with the manual transmission and front-wheel drive (quattro all-wheel drive), it accelerates the Audi Q3 in 8.3 (7.6) seconds from a standstill to highway speed (62.1 mph). Top speed is 217 km/h (134.8 mph). The 2.0 TFSI consumes on average just 6.7 (6.9) liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (35.1 [34.1] US mpg) with 152 [160] grams CO2 per kilometer (244.6 [257.5] g/mi) (all values provisional). These same figures for the Q3 2.0 TFSI with seven-speed S tronic and quattro all-wheel drive are 7.6 seconds, 217 km/h (142.84 mph), 6.5 liters per 100 kilometers (36.2 US mpg) and 149 g per kilometer (239.34g/mi).

The top version of the 2.0 TFSI produces 162 kW (220 hp), with 350 Nm (258.1 lb‑ft) of torque available between 1,500 and 4,400 rpm. Power in this case is transferred via a seven-speed S tronic and quattro permanent all-wheel drive. The figures document the superiority of this combination of technologies: 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 6.4 seconds; top speed 233 km/h (144.8 mph); NEDC consumption 6.6 liters per 100 kilometers (35.6 US mpg), corresponding to 152 g CO2 per kilometer (244.6 g/mi).

Highly efficient: the 2.0 TDI

The diesel engines are three versions of the 2.0 TDI clean diesel, which Audi offers with various outputs. It displaces 1,968 cc (bore x stroke 81.0 x 95.5 millimeters (3.2 x 3.8 in) and features minimal internal friction. Among the technologies used are two balance shafts in the crankcase, a thermal management system with separate coolant pumps for the cylinder block and head, a common rail injection system with a max. pressure of 2,000 bar and a turbocharger with adjustable vanes. The cylinder head features a rotated valve star. As a result, the intake and exhaust valves appear to be arranged one behind the other when viewed from the induction pipe connection. Each camshaft thus actuates one intake and one exhaust valve per cylinder.

The 2.0 TDI clean diesel shares two other solutions with the 1.4 TFSI - the separate valve drive module and the intercooler integrated into the intake manifold. A complex emission control system enables compliance with the Euro 6 standard. Nitrogen oxides are reduced in the particulate filter, to which the required SCR coating has been applied (SCR = selective catalytic reduction).

The 1.4 TFSI ultra is joined by a particularly efficient ultra variant of the 2.0 TDI engine. Equipped with a manual transmission and front-wheel drive, it produces 110 kW (150 hp) and 340 Nm (250.8 lb-ft). Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) takes 9.6 seconds, and top speed is 204 km/h (126.8 mph). Fuel consumption is 4.4 liters per 100 kilometers (53.5 US mpg), a CO2 equivalent of 114 grams per kilometer (183.5 g/mi).

The 2.0 TDI clean diesel with 110 kW (150 hp) and 340 Nm (250.8 lb-ft)

(between 1,750 and 2,800 rpm) will also be available at launch with a choice of two versions of quattro all-wheel drive: quattro all-wheel drive and manual transmission, and quattro all-wheel drive and seven-speed S tronic. The figures with manual transmission and S tronic, respectively: 9.3/9.3 seconds, 204/204 km/h (126.8 mph), 4.9/5.1 liters per 100 kilometers (48.0/46.1 US mpg) and 129/132 grams CO2 per kilometer (207.6/212.4 g/mi).

The most powerful TDI in the Audi Q3 produces 135 kW (184 hp). Its torque plateau of 380 Nm (280.3 lb-ft) extends from 1,800 to 3,250 rpm. Here, too, Audi offers the three variants front-wheel drive and manual transmission (provisional values), quattro all-wheel drive and manual transmission, and quattro all-wheel drive and seven-speed S tronic. The figures: 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 8.3/7.9/7.9 seconds; top speed 219/219/219 km/h (136.1 mph); NEDC consumption 5.0/5.2/5.1 liters per 100 kilometers (47.0/45.2/46.1 US mpg); CO2 emissions 131/137/134 grams per kilometer (210.8/220.5/215.7 g/mi).

Drivetrain

The new Audi Q3 is available with two different transmissions: the six-speed manual and the S tronic with either six or seven speeds. Their lower gears are sportily short, whereas the highest gear is tall to reduce engine speed and fuel consumption. The manual transmission, which enables easy and precise gear changes with short throws, has a particularly lightweight magnesium case.

Lightning-fast: the S tronic

The S tronic comprises two transmission sections configured similarly to a manual transmission. The two multi-plate clutches are arranged radially, one above the other. The large, outer K1 clutch transfers the engine's power via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for gears one, three and five (in the case of the seven-speed S tronic, to gear seven as well). A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft. It is connected to the second, smaller K2 clutch, which controls the gear wheels for the gears two, four and six, as well as reverse gear.

While driving, only one transmission section is coupled to the engine at any given time, but both are continually active. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission section. The shifting process takes place by switching clutches; this happens in just a few hundredths of a second with no detectable interruption of propulsive power. Gear changes are so fast and smooth as to be barely noticeable.

Audi Q3 drivers can operate the compact dual-clutch transmission themselves using the selector lever or the optional shift paddles on the steering wheel. Automatic operation offers a choice between the modes S and D. If the Audi drive select dynamic handling system (standard with the lines design and sport) is set to efficiency mode, the S tronic switches into freewheeling mode when coasting and allows the engine to idle in order to save fuel.

Traction: quattro permanent all-wheel drive

quattro permanent all-wheel drive makes the compact premium SUV even sportier, safer and more stable. The heart of this system is the new fifth-generation, hydraulically-actuated, electronically-controlled multi-plate clutch that debuted in the S1. To achieve a more balanced axle load distribution, the clutch is located on the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear axle differential.

During normal driving, most of the engine's power is sent to the front wheels. If traction decreases there, the multi-plate 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 pump to develop the oil pressure.

Chassis

The chassis of the redesigned Audi Q3 combines agile handling with supreme safety, and comprehensive fine-tuning has enhanced comfort even further. The McPherson front suspension has 1,571 millimeter (61.9 in) track. The lower wishbones and the subframe are made of forged and cast aluminum, respectively - a solution that greatly benefits the weight distribution between the front and rear axles. This is approximately 58:42; the exact ratio depends on the engine and drivetrain.

Straight tracking: the electromechanical steering

The rack-and-pinion power steering uses a highly efficient electric motor that continuously reduces boost as speed increases. The steering also works in conjunction with the optional Audi active lane assist and park assist.

The four-link rear suspension has a track of 1,575 (62.0 in), and just like the front suspension includes a stabilizer bar. The trailing links absorb propulsive and braking forces. Their bearings are relatively large in the interest of rolling comfort. On the other hand, the three transverse links of each wheel are rigidly joined to the steel subframe; they are responsible for absorbing lateral forces. All links are made of high-strength steels; the wheel carriers are aluminum.

With its high ground clearance, the Audi Q3 also remains composed when driven off-road. With the S line sport suspension, which features tauter springs, dampers and bearings, the body is 20 millimeters (0.8 in) lower. It is available on its own or as part of the S line sport package.

Personalized: Audi drive select

The Audi drive select dynamic handling system (standard with the design and sport lines) allows the driver to switch between the modes comfort, auto, dynamic and efficiency at the push of a button. The system accesses the accelerator and power steering. The optional modules S tronic and the chassis with damper control can also be integrated into the system.

With the DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) dampers, an electrically actuated proportional valve regulates the flow of oil into the piston. A fast computer manages its function as appropriate for the condition of the road, the driver's style and the mode selected in Audi drive select. A large cross-section allows for comfortable rolling; a small cross-section connects the car tightly to the road. Steering response becomes even more precise; the specific stabilization of the wheels makes self-steering and braking behavior even more neutral and safe.

Up to 20 inches in diameter: the wheels

The lineup for the Audi Q3 comprises 16 models of wheels, including seven new ones. For most engine variants, size 6.5 J x 16 wheels with 215/65 tires are standard. The top models use the sizes 7 J x 17 and 235/55. The design and sport lines, as well as the Audi exclusive design package and the S line sport package including additional wheels measuring 17 and 18 inches in diameter. 19 and 20-inch wheels are optionally available. All tires feature low rolling resistance, and a tire pressure indicator is standard.

The brake system brings the compact premium SUV reliably to a stop. All engine variants feature vented front discs measuring 312 millimeters (12.3 in) in diameter. The developers increased the size of the solid discs on the rear axle of the new Audi Q3 from 282 to 300 millimeters (11.1 to 11.8 in). The electromechanical parking brake is integrated into the rear brake system. The latest evolution of the ESC electronic stabilization control is even more sensitive and versatile.

Handling: torque vectoring

The Audi Q3 marks the first time that the standard electronic stabilization control (ESC) can be deactivated in two stages. An ESC off-road mode in the Q3 provides for optimal traction off the beaten track. This adjusts certain functions, such as ABS and the electronic differential lock (EDL), and the control function optimized for the surface.

The torque vectoring, which is also making its Q-model debut in the Q3, has also been thoroughly updated. Low friction values, such as those occurring on wet roads or snow, are given much greater consideration in the control strategy for front-wheel and quattro all-wheel drive vehicles. This results in optimized handling with maximum tracking accuracy when cornering.

Before understeer can occur, finely metered brake torque is applied imperceptibly to the inner wheels. If power is being applied, the excess torque flows to the outside wheel. This redistribution of torque results in more precise turn-in in corners and sharp bends. This expanded ESC functionality works together with the multi-plate clutch to minimize understeer within handling limits. Handling thus becomes more precise, agile and stable.

When ESC is completely deactivated, certain stabilization interventions - including torque vectoring and the electronic differential lock (EDL) remain active in the interest of precise control of the vehicle.

Helpful: trailer stabilization and hill-descent assist

Another useful feature is trailer stabilization. For the first time ever in Q-family vehicles, Audi has supplemented this with automatic trailer detection. External factors such as a shifted load, side winds or uneven road surfaces are used to detect swerving trailers more reliably and sooner. Targeted ESC braking interventions and engine torque reductions are then used to stabilize the trailer.

All versions of the Audi Q3 come equipped with hill-start assist, which uses the electromechanical parking brake. It holds the brake pressure for a brief time after the driver steps off of the brake pedal. The optional hill-descent assist controls the speed of the compact premium SUV between 2 and 30 km/h (1.2 and 18.6 mph) when going downhill, and keeps it almost constant on virtually any surface without blocking the wheels and without any intervention on the part of the driver to ensure a safe descent.

Exterior design

The new Audi Q3 has a strong and confident road stance. The coupe-like roofline and sharply sloped D-pillars give the silhouette an expressive and sporty look. As with its predecessor, the dimensions are compact. The length is 4,388 millimeters (14.4 ft); width 1,831 millimeters (6.0 ft); height (minus antenna) is 1,590 millimeters (5.2 ft): and the wheelbase 2,603 millimeters (8.5 ft).

Dominating horizontal lines up front and in the rear underscore the width and make the Audi Q3 distinctive and expressive. The sculpted Singleframe grille is the defining element of the front of the car. Its enlarged top corners extend to the headlights. In the redesigned bumper, honeycomb grilles and struts in the air intakes, which are framed by sharp edges. A front splitter extends forward below the flat, center intake.

Another change to the front end are the newly structured headlights. Xenon plus units with LED daytime running lights and all-weather lights are now standard. Audi also offers LED headlights with a distinctive LED daytime running light contour running around the headlight. In this variant, 27 particularly energy-efficient light-emitting diodes provide the lighting functions. Both headlights can be supplemented with the high-beam assistant.

The defining element when viewing the Audi Q3 from the side is the flowing, coupe-like, early-sloping roof that tapers into a flat D-pillar. On the body of the vehicle, sharply drawn lines border powerfully taut surfaces. The body to greenhouse ratio of two-thirds to one-third is typical of Audi's sporty design language. The tornado line below the windows forms an elegant light-refracting edge, and the side sills are more prominent. The wheel wells are strongly defined; the wheel arches boldly offset.

At the rear, the sculpted, wrap-around tailgate - a characteristic feature of the Audi Q models - amplifies the sense of width. An underbody guard caps the bottom of the rear end. The 2.0 TFSI with 162 kW (220 hp) has two separate tailpipes on the left and right; the other engine variants have dual tailpipes on the left. All have chrome tips. Both the diffuser and the large, undivided taillights - another characteristic of the Q models - have been redesigned.

The taillights come standard with halogen lamps, with LED technology available as an option. In combination with the LED headlights, the taillights also feature dynamic turn signals. Their individual light-emitting diodes are activated sequentially in blocks. The light moves in the direction the driver is turning, thus sending an unmistakable signal. The standard adaptive brake light pulses at a frequency of four Hertz and warns trailing drivers in the event of hard braking.

New shades: paint finishes

New shades have found their way to the color palette of the redesigned Audi Q3: Hainan Blue metallic, Cuvée Silver metallic and Utopia Blue metallic. These join the standard finishes Cortina White and Brilliant Black as well as additional optional colors, such as Floret Silver metallic, Glacier White metallic, Misano Red pearl effect, Monsoon Gray metallic, Mythos Black metallic and Tundra Brown metallic. Audi offers the color Daytona Gray pearl effect at a price savings in combination with the S line sport package.

There is a choice of three variants for the wheel arches, the sill strips and the underbody guard. These elements come standard in black; they are finished in a contrasting color with the design line and in the body color with the sport line. As exterior features, both lines offer exclusive 17-inch wheels, the gloss package around the windows and anodized aluminum roof rails.

There are also new equipment packages for the new Audi Q3: the S line sport package and the S line exterior package. The design line with the Audi exclusive design package and the Audi exclusive exterior design package is debuting with the launch of the Q3. All of the packages include different combinations of features such as special door entry sills, a stainless steel loading sill protector, and 17 and 18-inch wheels. With the Audi exclusive exterior design package, the sills on the body have a unique look; with the S line exterior package, the bumpers and diffuser feature a special design.

Body

The body of the Audi Q3 is the foundation for the balanced handling, the quiet cabin and safety. Weighing roughly 300 kilograms (661.4 lb), it plays a major role in the lightweight construction concept for the compact premium SUV. The Audi Q3 1.4 TFSI has a curb weight (without driver) of just 1,385 kilograms (3,053.4 lb).

Lightweight construction: hot-shaped steel and aluminum

Topping the materials pyramid are hot-shaped steels. They are first heated in a furnace to more than 900 degrees Celsius (1,652.0 degrees Fahrenheit) and then cooled to around 200 degrees Celsius (392.0 degrees Fahrenheit) in a water-cooled pressing die. This change in temperature makes them extremely strong. They require relatively thin wall thickness and are accordingly lightweight. Making up 13 percent of the body, hot-shaped steels are the backbone of the occupant cell. They are used in the transition to the front end, at the center tunnel, in large areas of the roof frame, for the interior sills and for the B-pillars.

The engine hood and wrap-around tailgate of the Audi Q3 are made of aluminum. They weigh only 8.8 and 10.8 kilograms (19.4 and 23.8 lb), respectively - nearly 50 percent less than corresponding parts of steel sheet. The engine hood is secured to the body by two releases. This enables a design with relatively low sheet thicknesses yet high geometrical stability.

Torsion rings in the area of the rear seats and the tailgate opening make significant contributions to stiffness and vibrational comfort. Bulkheads and creases break up large cavities and steady large sheet metal surfaces. Sophisticated gaskets run around the doors and windows.

Audi also offers an acoustic windshield with a noise-damping intermediate film as an option. Dark privacy glazing is available for the rear windows.

The redesigned Audi Q3 is also state-of-the-art when it comes to passive safety. In the event of a frontal collision, the subframes of the front axle, the longitudinal members and two additional members under the fenders dissipate energy. If the other vehicle involved in the collision comes from the side, the ultra-high-strength B-pillars offer outstanding protection. Two cross-members reinforce the floor structure. The longitudinal members absorb energy in the event of a rear-end collision.

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, Isofix child seat attachment points in the rear and the integrated Audi head restraint system round out the package. Rear side airbags are available as an option.

The base version of the Audi Q3 boasts a drag coefficient of 0.32 and has a frontal area of 2.44 m2 (26.3 sq ft). The low lift at the axles ensures good stability at high speed. The large spoiler above the rear window extends the roof contour by 32 centimeters (12.6 in). Two aero strips to the left and right of the window form lateral spoiler lips. Many additional body details contribute to the good aerodynamics and aeroacoustics. A plastic underbody liner provides for aerodynamic air flow, and cooling air flows virtually loss-free through the engine compartment.

Interior

The sporty design language of exterior carries over into the interior of the redesigned Audi Q3. The wrap-around, a feature from the large Audi model series, is an elegant arc between the front doors below the windshield. The broad center console is asymmetrical and inclined toward the driver.

Comfortable: the seats

The standard front seats are height-adjustable. Audi will upgrade these upon request with power lumbar supports, seat heating and power adjustments. The sport seats (standard from sport line upwards and with the Audi exclusive design package) feature length and pitch-adjustable cushions.

Comfortably shaped and upholstered, the rear seats offer a pleasantly upright seating position. Their head restraints can be lowered far enough so as not to impair the view in the rearview mirror. The stepless door stops are very helpful when getting in or out. Practical storage is available at every seat and Audi also offers a special storage package.

Clear: steering wheel and displays

There are numerous steering wheels from which to choose depending on the trim line and design package - with three or four spokes, with different coverings and contrasting stitching, with multi-function buttons and with shift paddles. The largely, clearly marked dial instruments behind the steering wheel can be read quickly and safely. Located in the field between them is the optional driver information system (DIS) with white or color display (standard with sport and design). One of its functions is the efficiency program, which gives the driver tips for efficient driving; another is the rest recommendation function.

The premium character of the Audi Q3 is manifested in every detail of the interior. Typical examples are the 6.5 or 7.0-inch monitor (standard with MMI radio and above). It is recessed into the instrument panel. When you tap on its top edge, it glides upwards with a gentle, steady motion. A high-gloss black frame encircles the screen.

Even more polish: fine interior details

The update brought a number of new touches to the interior of the compact premium SUV. New chrome clasps now adorn areas such as the user interface for the MMI radio or navigation system. The sport line comes standard with decorative inlays in Micrometallic silver. The alternatives, some of which are included in the design lines and packages, range from aluminum Tangent silver or bronze to walnut, piano lacquer and matt brushed aluminum.

The center armrest, the door panels and seat covers are available in six colors - black (also in S line sport package), chestnut brown, stone gray, pistachio beige, chennai brown (also in Audi exclusive design package) and rotor gray (optional in S line sport package). The customer can choose upholstery in a number of fabrics and the leathers Milano, Fine Nappa and Pearl Nappa, the latter in combination with Alcantara or cloth. Another alternative is the partial leather package.

Variable: the luggage compartment

The Audi Q3 offers plenty of space in the luggage compartment because the shock absorbers, which are separate from the compact coil springs, are far to the outside in the body. Standard capacity is 460 liters (16.2 cu ft), and with the seatbacks folded down 1,365 liters (48.2 cu ft). The new extensible luggage compartment cover is as practical as it is convenient. Audi also offers a power tailgate as an option. If the customer ordered the convenience key, the tailgate has two buttons. One closes the tailgate while the other then locks the entire car.

The luggage compartment comes standard with four lashing points. Additional options, such as two hooks, a small supplemental storage compartment, a reversible luggage compartment floor, a reversible floor mat and a luggage compartment package, allow many items to be transported safely. Another option is the through-loading facility, which can be supplemented with ski/snowboard bag. The optional trailer hitch has a swiveling ball neck. The Audi Q3 has a maximum towing capacity of up to two metric tons, depending on the engine.

Individual and helpful: Audi Genuine Accessories

The Audi Genuine Accessories range includes carriers for bikes, skis, kayaks and other sports equipment, plus a folding passenger seat for transporting long items. A new product is the Q3 camping tent, which can be set up in minutes and fastened to the vehicle's open tailgate. One person with nothing more than an air pump can set up the entire tent in just three minutes.

Another four minutes is all it takes to connect the tent to the Q3 via the open rear hatch. The vehicle interior/luggage compartment and the tent can be used simultaneously. This makes unpleasant activities such as loading and unloading during bad weather significantly more pleasant. The Q3 camping tent is also suitable for rough weather. Secured to the ground with eight camping pegs, it can withstand winds of up to 70 km/h (43.5 mph). The tent is modular, comprising the main tent, a mosquito-proof inner tent, tent floor, sun shade and a car-specific connection kit for the tailgate. All of the modules are separable. It will be available in late 2014 with prices starting at 1,390 euros.

Infotainment and Audi connect

Audi offers a modular range of infotainment components for the new Audi Q3. The standard Audi radio offers a CD drive, an Aux-in connection and eight speakers. The MMI radio - the first optional module - features the MMI operating logic from the large Audi model series. The fold-out color monitor with 6.5-inch display, a memory card reader and an audio tuner with phase diversity are standard here.

The MMI radio can be combined with the optional connectivity package, including navigation system preparation. The customer can activate the system at any time; the navigation data are stored on an SDHC card. The connectivity package also includes a Bluetooth interface and the Audi music interface (AMI) for the easy connection of a mobile player. The navigation package is another alternative offering the same content, but with the navigation function already activated.

Intuitive: MMI navigation plus

At the top of the infotainment range is MMI navigation plus. Its rotary pushbutton can be rocked like a joystick, which makes many functions even more convenient. The 7.0-inch monitor displays the graphics and the navigation map in 3D. The hard disk can store 20 GB of music data. Two card readers, the Audi music interface (AMI), a Bluetooth interface and a DVD drive round out the comprehensive list of equipment.

The ideal complement to MMI navigation plus is Audi connect including car phone, which connects the Audi Q3 to the Internet. Passengers can use the integrated to WiFi hotspot to surf or e-mail, while the driver can enjoy the tailored services from Audi connect. These include the web radio Audi music stream, online traffic information, and navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View.

Audio experience: the sound systems

Hi-fi fans can choose between two sound systems - the Audi sound systems and the Bose surround sound system. With the second system, a ten-channel, 465 watt amplifier drives 14 speakers, including a subwoofer. It uses a microphone to analyze intrusive noises and adjusts playback accordingly. If MMI navigation plus is on board, the system can reproduce 5.1 surround sound. The top-of-the-line system is also a visual treat thanks to the frames of the bass/mid-range speakers in the doors, which form elegant rings of white light.

Supplemental components include a six-disc CD changer, a dual tuner for digital radio reception, a digital TV tuner and the Audi phone box. With the MMI radio and above, a highly flexible MOST bus (Media Oriented Systems Transport) is used to network all of these infotainment modules. The controllers are arranged in a ring and interconnected using fiber-optic cables.

Driver assistance systems

The assistance systems are further testimony to the special position the Audi Q3 occupies in the compact premium SUV segment. The secondary collision brake assist is standard. It prevents the car from rolling in an uncontrolled manner or causing a secondary collision following a crash.

The optional Audi side assist activates at speeds above 30 km/h (18.6 mph). Two radar sensors at the rear of the car observe what is going on behind it. If there is a vehicle in the blind spot or rapidly approaching from the rear, a yellow LED indicator in the outside mirror's housing lights up. If the driver nevertheless activates the turn signal to change lanes, the indicator become brighter and flashes multiple times.

Audi active lane assist activates at approximately 65 km/h (40.4 mph). Its video camera detects the lane markings in front of the car. If the Audi Q3 approaches a detected line without the turn signal being activated, the system helps the driver to steer back into the lane by intervening gently in the steering. The driver uses the MMI to determine whether steering wheel vibration should also be used. If both Audi active lane assist and Audi side assist are on board, the latter warns of all vehicles considered to be critical as soon as the driver approaches a detected lane marking and threatens to leave the lane.

The camera-based traffic sign recognition system indicates speed limit signs - and now also no-passing signs - including digital signs and many supplemental signs. The driver sees them as graphics on the display of the DIS. If the Q3 is equipped with Audi active lane assist and MMI navigation plus, the traffic sign recognition system is included in the package.

Several systems are available to make parking easier in the Audi Q3; the top of the line is the park assist system with 360° display. When the car is driving at a moderate speed, its lateral ultrasonic sensors scan the environment and indicate suitable parallel and perpendicular parking spots. If the driver wants to park in one of them, he or she puts the car in reverse. The system then takes over the steering; the driver only has to accelerate, switch gears, brake and monitor the parking process.

Park assist will maneuver forward and backward multiple times, if necessary. The system provides similar assistance when leaving parallel parking spaces. Its sensors can also detect obstacles to the side of the car and present them on the MMI monitor. The park assist system with 360° display and parking system plus can be supplemented with a reversing camera.

Equipment

Even the base version of the redesigned Audi Q3 is coming to the German market with a generous list of standard equipment. It includes xenon plus headlights with LED daytime running lights, air conditioning, an electromechanical parking brake, height-adjustable front seats, radio-controlled central locking system and the Audi radio. Also included as standard are 16-inch alloy wheels, a comprehensive package of retention systems, Isofix attachment points in the rear, hill-start assist, black roof rails, luggage compartment cover and exterior mirrors with LED turn signals.

Freedom of choice: the new trim lines

Eye-catching exterior elements of the design trim line are the 17-inch wheels, contrasting paint finish and the silver roof rails. The loading sill protector is made of stainless steel; aluminum inserts adorn the door entry sills while aluminum inlays dress up the interior. The driver information system (DIS), Audi drive select, leather steering wheel and power-adjustable lumbar supports complete the equipment list. Many of the controls shine with an aluminum-look finish.

The sport line is similar in scope; there are differences in the design of the wheels and the steering wheel, however. Add-on parts are painted in the body color; sport seats are standard. The Audi exclusive design package (includes sport seats) and the S line sport package are focused primarily on subtle exterior and interior details; both include 18-inch wheels.

Luxurious options: panoramic glass roof and LED headlights

Much of the optional equipment for the Audi Q3 comes directly from the luxury class. These include the panoramic glass roof, LED headlights, dynamic turn signals and the high-beam assistant. Privacy glazing and a noise-damping windshield further increase comfort in the cabin. The range of alloy wheels includes sizes up to 20 inches; the S line sport suspension improves handling. Featuring damper control the suspension is extremely flexible.

Further options are the convenience key, hill-descent assist, alarm system, cruise control, deluxe two-zone automatic air conditioning, rear side airbags and the driver information system with color display. The LED interior lighting package allows the interior to glow. The seats can be upgraded with heating, power adjustment and a center armrest with a storage compartment. There are also a number of steering wheels from which to choose; shift paddles for S tronic are optional.

Clever options make the Audi Q3 even more practical. These include the power tailgate, rear seat through-loading facility including a center armrest, ski and snowboard bag, storage and luggage compartment package, reversible floor mat and a reversible luggage compartment floor. A trailer hitch expands the range of possible uses for the compact premium SUV even further. The accessories program includes a wide range of features, including a camping tent.

The optional infotainment systems are also extremely attractive. They begin with the MMI radio, which already includes a fold-out monitor, and extend through the connectivity package to MMI navigation plus and the Bose Surround Sound system. The module Audi connect including car phone connects the Audi Q3 to the Internet and the online services from Audi; the Audi phone box connects the cell phone to the automobile antenna.

The range of driver assistance systems also goes 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 camera-based traffic sign recognition system alerts the driver to important traffic signs, and there are also multiple parking solutions available.

Sales of the redesigned Q3, which Audi builds at its Martorell plant outside Barcelona, Spain, will begin in February 2015. Its base price is 29,600 euros.

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