Audi is adding a compact SUV in coupé shape to its model range: the Audi Q3 Sportback. The new model combines the strong presence and versatile everyday convenience of an SUV with the sporty elegance and agile handling of a coupé. This makes it the first compact crossover of the Audi brand.
Low roofline, muscular body: the design
The Audi Q3 Sportback stands for strength and precision to an equal degree, and reflects this in all design details. The black grille of the octagonal Singleframe is strongly three-dimensional in design, and this makes it particularly sporty.
The same applies for the trapezoidal air inlets and the expressive bumper with its flat blade. The coupé-like passenger cabin acts as a contrast to the distinctive attachments, which are painted in contrasting colours and thus emphasise the SUV character. The low roofline gives way to flat D‑pillars and ends in a roof edge spoiler.
As a result, the Audi Q3 Sportback appears much longer than its sister model Q3. In addition, the SUV-coupé is almost three centimetres flatter, and thus has a more muscular appearance. Above the wheels, strong contours draw attention to the quattro drive. Many light and shadow effects arise on the plastic-formed rear.
The low window, flanked by aero trims, and the sporty bumper, which takes up the look of the air inlets, emphasise the width of the Audi Q3 Sportback. The reversing lights contribute to this as well: they run inwards in a tapered shape, just like the flat headlights.
Audi supplies the latter in three versions up to Matrix LED technology, whose adaptive high beam intelligently illuminates the road as best suits the driving situation.
TFSI, TDI, S tronic, quattro: the drive
For the market launch in Europe, a petrol and a diesel engine are available for selection for the Audi Q3 Sportback. With 230HP the 2.0 TFSI is the most powerful engine, Audi Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI quattro S tronic: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km *: 7.7 – 7.3 combined CO2 emissions in g/km*: 174 – 166.
The 2.0 TDI has an output of 150HP, Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TDI S tronic: Combined fuel consumption in l/100 km*: 4.9 – 4.7 combined CO2 emissions in g/km*: 129 – 123. Shortly after market launch, it will also be available as a manual transmission with a quattro drive.
Additional engines will follow in the course of the year, and an entry-level gasoline engine, which works together with a 48 V mild-hybrid system.
During deceleration, it recovers energy; during acceleration from low speeds, it supports the engine. In real-life driving, it can save up to 0.4 litres of fuel per 100 km.
Variable comfort: Interior and space concept
The Audi Q3 Sportback is 4.50m long, 1.84m wide and 1.56m high; its wheelbase measures 2.68m. This results in a large and highly variable interior.
The rear seats offer space for three people. They can be moved 130 mm (5.1 in) longitudinally as standard; their backrests are divided into three sections, and their inclination can be adjusted in seven stages.
The volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 530 litres to 1,400 litres. The loading floor can be adjusted to two levels, and the rear shelf is located beneath it. As standard, Audi will deliver an electric tailgate that can also be opened and closed with a foot motion.
The front seats – electrically adjustable and heated on request – offer a sporty position and a high level of comfort. Depending on the equipment, there are sport seats with contrasting stitching and coloured stripes along the side panel.
In addition, optional alcantara surfaces on the instrument panel and the armrests emphasise the progressive design philosophy. In the dark, the optional contour/ambient lighting package sets lighting accents with its 30 selectable colours.
Digital world: Displays and operation
The operating and display concept proves how Audi is pushing ahead with digitalization: Even the basic equipment includes the Audi Virtual Cockpit with a 10.25-inch screen diagonal, which the driver operates using the multifunction steering wheel.
In the top-of-the-line system, MMI navigation plus, the displays appear in the Audi virtual cockpit, which offers many additional functions. A touch display measuring 10.1 inches is positioned in the centre of the instrument panel.
When a function is selected, it emits acoustic feedback. Just like in the brand’s full-size class models, it is surrounded by wide, high-gloss black trim.
The flat menu structure is complemented by a control unit that uses natural language and can also understand free wordings.
Entering a navigation destination and the MMI search are based on free text input. The system recognizes the driver’s most frequent destinations based on previous journeys, allowing it to generate suitable suggestions.
When doing so, it takes into consideration statistical empirical values regarding the traffic load and time of day.
Comprehensive networking: Infotainment and Audi connect
The free myAudi App and the Audi smartphone interface ensure interconnectivity between the car and smartphone. This integrates Android and iOS cell phones into the on-board infotainment system.
The content of the smartphone is shown in the MMI display via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and no cables are required if the top infotainment system is used with an iPhone.
The optional Audi phone box and the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual 3D sound round off this comprehensive offer.
Outstanding in any situation: the assist systems
In the Audi Q3 Sportback, four standard systems are used for safety. These include the lane departure warning which helps the driver to remain in the lane. The Q3 Sportback options also includes Audi pre sense front. If a head-on collision is imminent, it outputs a visual, acoustic, and haptic warning to the driver.
In an emergency, it causes full braking and initiates the Audi pre sense basic safety measures. This involves tightening the front seat belts, closing the windows and the optional sliding roof, and activating the hazard warning lights.
The adaptive cruise assist is a highlight of the optional systems. It takes the burden off the driver during longitudinal and lateral guidance. Ultra-modern systems such as the 360-degree cameras offer assistance with parking and manoeuvring.
They show the direct surroundings of the SUV coupé on the MMI display, and the driver can choose from several perspectives.
Available commercially from autumn onwards: Market launch and edition model
An exclusive edition model in two designs accompanies the market launch, depending on their paint finishes, they are called “edition one dew silver” and “edition one mythos black.”
In both models, the exterior is based on the S line and the black styling package. Dark decorative panels in the matrix LED headlights and 20-inch wheels make for an even sportier look.
The interior features a silver edition model with the noble interior design selection and bright colours, while the black model is based on the dark interior S line, supplemented by blue Alcantara areas on the instrument panel and the armrests in the doors.
The car is due to launch in Ireland in October 2019 with additional details to be announced closer to the time.