Fuel-efficient Audi Q3 crossover promises to keep the lead over BMW X1

Article by Christian A., on November 30, 2014

Expect a more fuel-efficient Audi Q3 next year as the carmaker is making true plans to endow the revised crossover with more efficient powertrains. Audi did not only enhance the output of its gasoline-powered TFSI engines, but also installed a fuel-saving cylinder deactivation technology called “displacement on demand” system.

This system shuts down two cylinders when not needed, making the powertrain around 7 percent more efficient. The upgrade is part of the Q3’s mid-cycle refresh, which entails a revised design and more standard features. Audi will roll out the Q3 in Europe in February 2015 and later in the United States.

The Q3 currently stands atop Europe’s premium crossover segment, followed by BMW X1. Audi sold 5-percent more Q3s in the first half of 2015 to 40,730 units, helping the overall European premium crossover segment to post a 9-percent jump in sales in the period to 232,075 units, according to JATO Dynamics.

Audi sold nearly 60 percent more Q3s globally to 145,000 units in 2013, and over 30 percent more in the first 10 months of 2014. According Mark Fulthorpe, director of global light vehicle production at IHS Automotive, they expect sales of the Q3 to surge by 40,000 units globally in 2014 as boosted by higher production in China.

He added this will effectively allow Q3 to overtake X1 in global sales. He said X1 production is expected to dip by around 20,000 this year as demand drops in Europe and the crossover nears the end of its life cycle.

IHS expects carmakers to produce 1.1 million crossovers globally by 2019 – from around 220,000 in 2011 -- as German premium brands add more compact crossovers to their lineup and other marques offering their first segment offering.

The new Audi Q3 is designed to offer a strong and assertive road stance, as well as sporty silhouette made possible by its coupe-like roofline and sloped D-pillars. Its elegant crossover look is trapped in a package that measures 4,388 mm (14.4 ft.) in length, 1,831 mm (6.0 ft.) in width, 1,590 mm (5.2 ft) in height, 2,603 mm (8.5 ft) wheelbase.

Its width is accentuated on its front and rear ends by horizontal lines that also make the crossover more expressive. The front end is defined by the sculpted Singleframe grille which has enlarged top corners that extend to the newly structured headlights. Other frontal elements include a redesigned bumper, air intakes with honeycomb grilles and struts, and front splitter below the flat, center intake.

As standard, the Q3 employs xenon plus headlight units with LED daytime running lights as well as all-weather lights. LED headlights with a distinctive LED daytime running light contour are optional. The lighting functions on the LED headlights are provided by 27 energy-efficient LED units. Both the xenon plus and LED headlights could be complemented by the high-beam assistant.

When viewed from the side, the new Audi Q3 reveals a flowing, coupe-like roof tapering into a flat D-pillar. It also reveals sharply drawn lines and taut surfaces. Donning Audi's sporty design language, the new Q3 has a body-to-greenhouse ratio of two-thirds to one-third. In addition, the side of the new Q3 reveals more prominent side sills, strongly defined wheel wheels, boldly offset wheel arches and a tornado line forming a light-refracting edge.

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