2012 Audi Q3.
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The new Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact form. Its body, the drivetrains, the chassis and the highly advanced assistance and multimedia systems reflect the competence of Audi. The Audi Q3, the youngest member of the successful SUV family from Audi, is a practical companion for everyday – an urban model that feels at home anywhere. Its versatile character makes it attractive to a wide range of customers.
Breaking ground in a new market segment – the Audi Q3.
Audi is venturing into a new market segment: The Audi Q3 is a premium SUV in a compact-class form. It is sporty, efficient and versatile – a vehicle that is equally comfortable on or off the road. Every aspect of the Q3 showcases Audi technology – the body, the drivetrain, the chassis and the assistance and multimedia systems. Many of its solutions are straight from the luxury class.
The Q3 is immediately recognizable as the youngest member of the large Audi family. The coupe-like lines are an expression of its sporty character. Sharp edges frame elegantly arched sheet metal surfaces, and distinctive lights accentuate the front and rear. The wedge-shaped headlights are optionally available with xenon plus units and LED daytime running lights, which Audi also combines with LED tail lights.
The low roof line, which begins dropping rather early, and the very flat D-pillars underscore the dynamics of the Audi Q3. Add-on parts are available in a number of variants – customers can choose between black, anthracite or the body color. There is also a choice of two exterior packages.
The base version of the Audi Q3, which will be available somewhat later, weighs 1,445 kilograms (3,186 lb). Its rigid, safe and quiet occupant cell integrates a number of ultra-high-strength steels. Both the engine hood and the tailgate are made of aluminum. As is typical of the Q models from Audi, the undivided tail lights are integrated into the tailgate, which wraps around the pillars. At just 0.32, the coefficient of drag is unusually low. The compact SUV is 4.39 meters (14.40 ft) long, 1.83 meters (6.00 ft) wide and 1.59 meters (5.22 ft) high.
The Audi Q3 offers ample room for all five passengers and sets new standards for ergonomics and workmanship. A wide variety of materials and colors for the interior offers customers countless possibilities for expressing their own personal style. The wrap-around, a large arc extending from one front door to the other, is a design feature borrowed from the large Audi model series.
The luggage compartment of the compact SUV has a capacity of 460 liters (16.24 cu ft), which can be increased to 1,365 liters (48.20 cu ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs. A roof rail is standard. Many useful options, including a luggage compartment package and a pass-through hatch, make the Q3 even more versatile and convenient in everyday use.
Numerous highlights: the equipment.
The Audi Q3 comes generously appointed with a long list of standard equipment, including the chorus audio system, air conditioning and a comprehensive package of restraint systems. Audi also offers a choice of optional equipment taken directly from the luxury class, including the adaptive light system for the xenon plus headlights, the high-beam assistant, the panoramic glass roof, the LED interior lighting package and power-adjustable front seats.
The range of driver assistance systems redefines the compact SUV class. The park assist system maneuvers the vehicle into tight parking spots autonomously. All the driver has to do is apply the gas and the brakes. The system also detects and warns the driver of obstacles to the sides. Audi side assist employs radar to help change lanes, and Audi active lane assist makes slight steering corrections as necessary to help stay in the lane. The speed limit display recognizes and presents important traffic signs.
Audi offers a comprehensive range of modular infotainment components. Topping the range of options is the hard-drive navigation system MMI navigation plus, which displays high-resolution 3D graphics on a fold-out 7.0-inch color monitor. The Bose surround sound system delivers 465 watts of power to 14 speakers.
Coming soon – under the heading of Audi connect – is the Bluetooth online car phone paired with a WLAN hotspot to provide the Q3 with Internet connectivity. The new Audi online traffic information service provides the driver with precise, current information about how heavy traffic is on the selected route.
Initial lineup: one TDI, two TFSI engines.
The Audi Q3 is being launched with a choice of three engines – one TDI and two TFSI units. All three four-cylinder engines combine direct injection with turbocharging, and will feature not only an energy recovery system but also a start-stop system. With power outputs ranging from 125 kW (170 hp) to 155 kW (211 hp), these engines are as efficient as they are powerful. Scheduled to appear somewhat later, the Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) and front-wheel drive will average less than 5.2 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (45.23 US mpg).
Audi combines all three of the initial engines with quattro permanent all-wheel drive, which works with a hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The seven-speed S tronic is standard in all models equipped with the most powerful TDI and TFSI engines. The ultra-compact and fast-shifting dual-clutch transmission showcases an innovation that enhances efficiency even further. When coasting, it allows the Audi Q3 to free-wheel when the “Efficiency” mode of Audi drive select is active. Shift paddles on the steering wheel are optionally available.
The chassis of the Q3 – featuring a four-link rear suspension, electromechanical power steering and wheels measuring between 16 and 19 inches in diameter – is the fruit of great design labor. An electromechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are standard, with hill-descent assist to be available later. Audi drive select enables the driver to adjust various technology modules, including the optional active shock absorbers, in four stages to suit his or her individual driving style.
The Audi Q3 – which rolls off the assembly line in Martorell, near Barcelona in Spain – went on sale in June. The Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) has a base price in Germany of €29,900.
Robust, powerful, sporty – the Audi Q3 has a distinctive road stance. Its progressive design is tightly integrated into the brand’s design language. Audi is known for bringing many ideas and innovations from its show cars to production vehicles. The Q3 takes up the concept of the 2007 Cross Coupé quattro showcar.
Its dimensions express the dynamic lines in numbers. The compact SUV is 4,385 millimeters long (14.39 ft) long and 1,831 millimeters (6.01 ft) wide, but only 1,590 millimeters (5.22 ft) high (without antenna and roof rail). The wheelbase measures 2,603 millimeters (8.54 ft); the overhangs are short. The coupe-like roof line and the sharply sloped D-pillars give the Q3 a thoroughly sporty silhouette.
The front end of the vehicle is intensively sculpted and sets strong accents. The upper corners of the single-frame radiator grille are beveled, and the lattice is dominated by the vertical elements. Two rising lines on the side carry over into the engine hood. The large air inlets with the horizontal bars underscore the powerful appearance of the compact SUV and harbor the standard fog lights.
Like its big brothers, the Q5 and the Q7, the headlights of the Audi Q3 are wedge-shaped. They are set deeply into the body, and the turn signals are located behind an intricate fascia vapor coated with aluminum.
As with every Audi, daytime running lights are standard with the standard halogen headlights. With the optional xenon plus units, the daytime running lights are implemented as two light-emitting diodes that together consume only 10 watts and whose light is radiated via a light guide. The light guide forms a flat, U-shaped clasp that is open to the outside.
The headlights can be paired with the optional high-beam assistant – a first in the compact SUV segment. The system uses a small camera to detect other vehicles and automatically changes between the high and low beams. Another high-end option is adaptive light, the dynamic cornering light.
In the style of a coupe: the roof.
The side view is dominated by the flowing, coupe-like roof that quickly begins sloping back downward. It flows into an unusually flat D-pillar reminiscent of the A3 models. The pillar lends the rear an energetic look that is further accentuated by the long roof spoiler. The sheet metal to greenhouse ratio of two-thirds to one-third is also typical of Audi’s sporty design language. The pronounced wheel arches with the offset wheel wells house wheels up to 19 inches in diameter.
Sharply drawn lines on the flanks frame athletically arched sheet metal surfaces. Their wedge-shaped path gives the Q3 a lean and fast appearance. The defining shadow contour is the tornado line. It begins at the headlights and runs below the edge of the window to the tail lights. The dynamic line above the side sills is also an element of the Audi brand library. Another line in the area of the sills further heightens the tension. The door handles are distinctly bow-shaped, and the housings of the side mirrors sport LED turn signals.
The wrap-around tailgate emphasizes the width of the Q3’s rear end – a characteristic feature of the Q model series. The tailgate has a three-dimensional look, drawing back several centimeters above the license plate. The electric button to unlock the tailgate is located beneath this edge.
The large, undivided tail lights – another distinguishing feature of the Q models – have a wedge shape similar to the headlights and feature a three-dimensional look that is continued in their interior.
Audi offers LED tail lights in combination with the xenon plus headlights. Two high-performance LEDs which require just two watts of power generate the rear light – a flat bar in the style of the daytime running lights – by means of light guides. 21 yellow LEDs are used for the turn signal, 18 red ones for the brake light – whose immediate response provides added safety for drivers following behind.
Thanks to the colored housing, the LED tail lights are very dark red when switched off. Because they cannot be seen when the luggage compartment hatch is open, the Q3 also has flat lamps with incandescent bulbs integrated into the bumper.
An underbody guard caps the bottom of the rear end, giving the compact premium SUV a sturdy road stance. The exhaust system terminates in dual tailpipes on the left. The entire exhaust system is very lightweight thanks to the low wall thicknesses made possible by high-grade stainless steels.
Broad palette: 11 paint colors.
Audi finishes its compact SUV in 11 colors. The solid finishes are Amalfi White and Brilliant Black; the metallic and pearl-effect colors go by the names of Ice Silver, Glacier White, Caribou Brown, Cobalt Blue, Monsoon Gray, Phantom Black, Platinum Beige, Samoa Orange and Sphere Blue.
The add-on parts – the wheel wells and the front and rear underbody guards – are available in a choice of three colors. They come standard in black, but Audi offers both anthracite and the body color as options. Another option is tinted privacy glass for the rear windows. The high-gloss package that comes standard on all models equipped with the two most powerful engines provides elegant touches around the windows.
Two large packages round out the lineup. The Audi exclusive off-road styling package lends the Audi Q3 a particularly wide and powerful appearance. The trim strips on the doors and the flared wheel wells are Stone Gray, and grilles with impact strips are mounted in the air inlets.
The underbody guard is made of stainless steel, and the bottom of the rear bumper has been redesigned. Special 18-inch wheels from the Audi exclusive line complete the robust look.
The S line exterior package, on the other hand, has classic appeal to particularly sporty customers. It includes modifications to the front apron and the bottom of the rear bumper, into which a diffuser is integrated.
Chrome elements add sparkle to the fog lights, the vertical struts of the single-frame grille and the exhaust tips. The air inlets are black, while the door trim strips and bumpers are finished in the body color. The front bumpers and the door sills sport S line badges.
The body of the Q3 establishes the foundation for the high build quality, the sporty handling, the acoustic comfort of the cabin and safety. Large portions of it are made of high-strength steels, which are a decisive factor for the high static and dynamic rigidity. Two torsion rings – in the area of the rear seats and the cutout for the tailgate – also make significant contributions here.
Audi once again demonstrates its competence in “ultra” lightweight construction with the Q3. The front-wheel drive version of the compact SUV, scheduled to appear somewhat later, weighs 1,445 kilograms (3,186 lb), with the body-in-white accounting for just 301 kilograms (664 lb). Even the add-on parts are lightweight. The engine hood and the wrap-around tailgate are made of aluminum. They weigh just 8.8 and 10.8 kilograms (19.40 and 23.81 lb), respectively – nearly 50 percent less than corresponding parts of steel sheet. The engine hood is secured to the body by two releases, allowing a crash-optimized construction with low sheet thicknesses and high geometrical stability.
The occupant cell integrates numerous panels with tailored thicknesses (tailored blanks). 74 percent of all panels in the body are made of high-end steels. Topping the materials pyramid are the hot-shaped steels. The blanks are heated in a furnace to over 900 degrees Celsius (1,652 degrees Fahrenheit) and shaped immediately thereafter at around 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) in a water-cooled pressing die.
The abrupt change in temperature imbues the finished panels with a tensile strength of up to 1,550 megapascals – the same as the cables of a suspension bridge. A single wire with a cross-section of one square millimeter can suspend a weight of 150 kilograms (331 lb). The martensitic structure of the panels can only be machined with a laser or diamond-coated tools.
Hot-shaped steels, which because of their strength require only relatively low wall thicknesses, make up 13 percent of the body. They are used in the transition from the front end to the occupant cell, at the center tunnel, in large areas of the roof frame, for the interior sills and for the B-pillars. The latter are each formed from a single blank, but undergo different heat treatments in different areas. As a result, their strength varies in three zones so that the B-pillars offer optimal protection in a side-impact collision.
One factor for enhanced rigidity is 74 meters of structural adhesive. The adhesive bonds supplement the 4,400 weld points and provide for strong and tight connections, often eliminating the need for additional sealing and corrosion protection measures – which in turn saves weight.
The seam around the water outlet at the trunk and the invisible seam between the side panel and the roof – two particularly problematic areas – are made using the laser beam or the plasmatron brazing process. Audi performs both high-end processes with exacting precision. The roof joint strips are eliminated. Laser welds also join the frame and the interior portions of the doors.
Carefully matched: vibrational comfort.
The development engineers precisely matched the resonant frequencies of the body and those of the add-on and internal components to give the Q3 its excellent vibrational comfort and acoustics. Bulkheads and lightweight materials such as foams and spray insulation divide large cavities like the D-pillars and have a calming effect on the large sheet metal surfaces. In addition to the good acoustic properties, these measures offer the added advantage of saving two to three kilograms (4.41 to 6.61 lb) of weight compared to thick film coatings.
Particular attention was focused on sound radiation in all areas where the driver and front-seat passenger are in contact with the car, such as the seats, parts of the floor and the steering wheel.
The engineers use state-of-the-art simulation tools and computational methods in all fields of work. For example, they were used to develop a reinforcement for the tailgate latch with molded bulkheads that significantly reduces the sound radiation of the tailgate. Another factor contributing to the low noise level on board the Q3 are the sophisticated seals at the doors and windows, plus numerous geometric details of the body. Audi also offers an acoustic windshield with a noise-damping intermediate film as an option.
Enhanced safety: excellent occupant protection.
The Audi Q3 is also at the head of its class when it comes to passive safety. There are three load levels in the front end. The lowest one comprises the subframe for the front axle. Two longitudinal members are used on the middle level. Connected to one another via the front cross-member, they distribute the load in an offset crash to both sides of the occupant cell. On the top level, two additional members dissipate energy via the fenders.
The ultra-high-strength B-pillars provide outstanding protection in a side-impact collision. Large overlaps brace the doors against the pillars and the triple-shell sills. Two cross-members reinforce the floor structure. The longitudinal members absorb energy in the event of a rear-end collision. Their strength gradually decreases moving forward. The members can be replaced in sections, which reduces costs.
Five crash sensors that react to acceleration and changes in air pressure stand guard in the Audi Q3. One of them is located at the center of the front end, the other four in the area of the B- and C-pillars. They provide detailed information to the airbag controller, which itself includes three sensors.
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 and the integral Audi head restraint system, which mitigates the consequences of a rear-impact collision, round out the package. Side airbags in the rear are optionally available.
Isofix child seat anchor points in the rear are standard. Sensors monitor whether the rear safety belts are fastened. Isofix child seat anchor points for the front passenger seat together with deactivatable airbag are optionally available. The accessories line includes child seats for every age group.
Audi’s latest model also represents the state of the art when it comes to pedestrian protection. The front bumper and the cross-member behind it, the energy-absorbing foam between the two components and the aluminum engine hood make for an effective package.
Low-speed collisions – the standard insurance category crash and the bumper crash, both of which are important for determining the comprehensive insurance category – result in no major damage. The front cross-member and the crash boxes bolted to the longitudinal members are closed, extruded sections of aluminum. They form a structure that provides effective protection for expensive components such as the radiator and air conditioning units, as well as the welded body structure. The bumper is made up of three parts, each of which can be replaced individually.
Extremely sophisticated: the aerodynamics.
The base version of the Audi Q3 boasts a coefficient of drag of 0.32 – tops among its competition. It has a front surface area of 2.44 square meters (26.26 sq ft). The low lift at the axles ensures superior stability at high speed.
The aerodynamic specialists at Audi performed exhaustive fine-tuning with their virtual tools and at the Wind Tunnel Center. They reduced the coefficient of drag by 0.16 from the first design model of the Q3. This resulted in a reduction in fuel consumption of 0.6 liters per 100 km in the EU cycle. At 130 km/h, the result is an even more impressive reduction of 2.3 liters per 100 km.
The greatest challenge proved to be the rear of the car, the zone in which the flow of air has to break off cleanly. The large spoiler with the integrated third brake light over the rear window extends the roof contour by 32 centimeters (12.60 in). Two “aero strips” to the left and the right of the window form lateral spoiler lips. Their black, high-gloss finish lends them a subtle and elegant appearance. The vertical contours in the tail lights serve similar purposes.
Very sophisticated aerodynamic tuning also went into the side mirrors. With their elegant design and slender base, they contribute just 3.1 percent of the total wind resistance. The noise generated at the mirrors remains low, and the glass barely fouls in the rain. The water-catching strips at the A-pillars keep the side windows clean by diverting the rain water pushed in their direction by the windshield wipers downward or upward.
The underbody also plays a major role in the aerodynamics concept. Except for the exhaust system and the back of the vehicle, it is covered by a plastic liner that protects it against salt and stone chipping and provides for a more aerodynamic flow of air. Small spoiler lips are integrated in front of the wheels. The aerodynamic underbody lowers the coefficient of drag by 0.03 or nine percent, and is precisely matched to the flow separation at the rear of the vehicle.
The aerodynamics experts also pared further valuable percentage points from the flow of air through the engine compartment. The single-frame grille and the surrounding area are completely sealed so that the inflowing air reaches the radiator with almost no losses rather than becoming turbulent.
The interior of the Audi Q3 mirrors the exterior design’s sinewy and muscular styling. The wrap-around, a large arc above the dashboard and extending from one front door to the other, is a design feature borrowed from the brand’s large model series. The elegantly sweeping, horizontally stepped instrument panel features a large inlay on the passenger side.
The broad center console is asymmetrical and inclined slightly toward the driver. The clean layout and intuitive operation of all switches and controls on it – the control unit for the audio or MMI system, the strip with the secondary switches and the terminal for the air conditioning – are exemplary.
Manual air conditioning is standard. Deluxe two-zone automatic air conditioning that considers the position of the sun and humidity is available as an option. The large controls, which are spring-loaded, are an optical and tactile highlight. A display indicates the temperatures in each zone. The transition to the center console is home to the start-stop button for the ignition, which Audi packages with the optional convenience key.
The 6.5-inch or 7.0-inch display (standard with the concert radio and upwards), is retracted into the instrument panel. If you tap the top edge of the retracted monitor, it extends upward in a gentle, even motion into an excellent position where it can be read quickly. The fold-out monitor with its high-gloss black frame is a visual and technical highlight in the compact SUV class.
The instrument cluster beneath the rounded cowl also speaks the elegant Audi design language. The speedometer and the tachometer, into which the coolant temperature and fuel level indicators have been integrated, have black dials, white numbers and red needles. At night the instruments are lit in white, the buttons red.
Between the instruments is the center digital display. The optional Audi driver information system is available with a white or color display. The system pools all key information from the audio sources, the telephone, the vehicle and the navigation system. It is broken down into three display areas. An intelligent tab concept makes it very easy to use.
Integrated into the driver information system is the on-board computer with efficiency program. The computer gives the driver tips for fuel-efficient shifting. In models with a manual transmission, an enlarged representation of the gear-change indicator indicates when it is appropriate to shift gears. Another function provides information on which on-board consumers, such as the air conditioning or the rear window heating, are active and how they affect fuel consumption.
The Audi Q3 showcases the new generation of steering wheels that debuted in the A8 luxury sedan. They can be adjusted over a range of 50 millimeters (1.97 in) vertically and horizontally, feature a lightweight magnesium skeleton and come wrapped in leather as standard.
The split bottom spoke of the three-spoke sport steering wheel is an eye-catching and exclusive feature of the Q model family. The two upper spokes can be optionally equipped with paddles, buttons and rotating cylinders that the driver uses to control the on-board computer, the telephone and the audio system. Shift paddles for S tronic are another option.
Firm hold: the seats in the Q3.
The front seats in the Audi Q3 offer excellent hold, guidance and support for persons of all sizes. Height-adjustable seats are standard. Options include power lumbar supports, heating and full power adjustment. The strongly bolstered sport seats feature adjustable seat cushion rake and length and come standard with a power lumbar support.
The rear seats are also comfortably shaped and upholstered for a pleasant, upright seating position. Their head restraints can be extended particularly far and lowered far enough so as not to impair the view in the rearview mirror. Despite the sloping, coupe-like roof line, even tall passengers enjoy sufficient headroom in the back, and there is also ample room for feet, knees, shoulders and elbows. Getting in and out of the vehicle is easy thanks to the raised seating position. The stepless door stops are very helpful in garages and narrow parking spots.
The Q3 offers plenty of storage at all of the seats. The console of the center tunnel is home to two cup holders, a 12-volt outlet and a storage bin. There are large pockets in the doors capable of holding 1.5-liter bottles, and there is a small, fold-out compartment to the left of the steering wheel. The base model has an additional compartment on the instrument panel rather than the on-board monitor. A height-adjustable center armrest is optionally available.
The optional storage package offers even more convenience. It includes fold-down compartments under the front seats, storage nets on the front seat backs, a multi-purpose retaining hook in the passenger foot well and a locking glove box.
Premium: the build quality.
Evidence of the premium character of the Audi Q3 can be seen in every last detail in the interior – in the selection of the materials, in their processing and in the tight, even gaps. The surface of the instrument panel is softly backed with foam and elegantly textured. All buttons and controls move precisely. The subtle click sounds they make when actuated give audible expression to their technical perfection.
The finely honed interior is visually impressive. Many control elements are available in either standard or optional aluminum-look finishes, including the knobs of the automatic air conditioning, the knob for the lights, the trim around the power window switches and the frames around the door openers and the air vents. A leather-covered shift/selector lever with aluminum inlays is standard.
The round knob on the short selector lever of the S tronic lends it a particularly robust appearance.
Another exclusive solution in this segment is the LED interior lighting package – a technology that bathes the interior in dramatic light. Efficient white light-emitting diodes provide the cabin and reading lights. They illuminate the doors, the headlining, the foot wells, the vanity mirrors, the storage compartments and the air vent thumb wheels. LED light guides even accentuate the cup holders. With the Bose surround sound system, the frames of the woofer/mid-range speakers in the front doors form elegant rings of white light.
A tasteful hand when it comes to color and trim is also a matter of honor for Audi. Five interior color combinations are available – black/black, black/chestnut brown, black/chennai brown, black/titanium gray and truffle beige/pistachio beige. Q3 customers choosing the base version can order platinum-colored applications.
Seats in pistachio beige have inlays in truffle beige.
Monometallic plastic inlays are standard. Audi also offers a choice of optional materials that underscore its leadership in interior design. The structure of the dark brown, open-pored larch wood has an authentic look and feel. The material 3D aluminum mesh uses a wire mesh to achieve a silvery-transparent look with a three-dimensional effect. Walnut and Aluminum Satellite – made from perforated aluminum – are other options.
There is also a wide choice of seat coverings. Besides the standard cloth, Audi also offers a second cloth variant and two grades of leather: Milano and Fine Nappa. The sport seats are also available in Pearl Nappa leather/Alcantara.
One upscale option is the S line sport package, which immerses the entire cabin and headlining in dynamic black. The floor mats feature gray piping, the door panels are covered in cloth, and inlays are available in a choice of brushed aluminum or piano finish.
The cloth seats feature embossed coverings in Sprint cloth and leather, and are optionally available in leather/Alcantara or Fine Nappa leather. The leather sport steering wheel and shift knob feature a special design, and S line logos adorn the door sill strips.
Exterior features of the S line sport package are 18-inch wheels from Audi exclusive, a sport suspension that lowers the body 20 millimeters (0.79 in) and badges on the front fenders. An exclusive Daytona Gray metallic finish is also available.
Practical: cargo area.
The cargo area of the Audi Q3 can be used very efficiently. Its side walls are virtually plane, and at 781 millimeters (30.75 in), the loading lip is relatively low. Because the shock absorbers are located far to the outside in the body, the compartment is very spacious, offering a pass-through width of 1,067 millimeters (42.01 in).
In its standard configuration, the luggage compartment has a volume of 460 liters (16.24 sq ft). A two-piece, removable cargo area cover hides the contents from view. The split rear seat backs can be folded down quickly and easily in just one step without having to remove the head restraints. When loaded to the roof, cargo volume in this configuration increases to 1,365 liters (48.20 cu ft).
The tailgate opens electronically, including via the remote key fob, and swings up very high. A handle running the width of the tailgate makes it very easy to close again, and it latches with a satisfyingly solid sound. Its clasp has a spring-loaded cover that keeps it from getting dirty – another typical Audi detail, just like the high-quality coverings on the side walls and the cargo floor.
Many features make the cargo area even more practical. Two large hooks, four lashing eyes and a small storage compartment in the left wall are standard. Options available from Audi include a reversible cargo floor with a tub on the reverse side, a reversible mat, stainless steel loading edge trim and a cargo area package that includes a luggage net, a side-mounted net, a 12-volt outlet and a second light.
Another option is the pass-through hatch in a package with an armrest and cup holders. It can be supplemented with a ski bag. Customers who often transport large, bulky objects can order the passenger seat with a folding seat back. The optional trailer hitch has a swiveling ball neck that can be conveniently unlocked using a button in the cargo area.
The Audi Q3 has a maximum towing capacity of two metric tons, depending on the engine. The maximum roof load is 75 kilograms (165.35 lb). The standard roof rail, which comes in either black or anodized aluminum depending on the engine, can be fitted with a wide range of racks for bikes, skis, kayaks and other sports equipment from the Audi accessories program.
The Audi Q3 is being launched with a choice of three four-cylinder engines – two TFSI units and one TDI. All three displace 2.0 liters and have power outputs between 125 kW (170 hp) and 155 kW (211 hp). A second TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) will follow somewhat later. The engines in the Q3 follow the Audi philosophy of downsizing, substituting forced induction for displacement to achieve strong performance with low fuel consumption.
All engines come standard with the recuperation system, a solution from the Audi modular efficiency platform. The system uses intelligent voltage control for the alternator to recover energy during braking and coasting phases. The energy is stored temporarily in the battery and flows back into the on-board electrical system, relieving the load on the alternator and thus the engine the next time the car accelerates.
The start-stop system is another Audi efficiency technology. When the Q3 comes to a halt, the control unit shuts down the engine. The driver’s foot must keep the brake pedal depressed (if equipped with S tronic) or be removed from the clutch (if equipped with a manual transmission). A powerful starter restarts the engine quickly when the driver releases the brake or steps on the clutch again.
The start-stop system is only inactive during the engine’s early warmup phase, on steep slopes or if it is extremely cold. Both it and the recuperation system make a significant contribution to reduced fuel consumption.
TFSI technology: the gasoline engines.
The abbreviation TFSI represents the combination of direct injection and turbocharging, a technology that Audi was the first carmaker in the world to introduce in 2004. The two technologies make an excellent team. The fuel injected directly into the combustion chambers is extremely turbulent, thus cooling the chamber walls. The resulting decrease in temperatures solves the problem inherent to all turbocharged engines – a tendency to knock, i.e. early detonation of the mixture on hot spots in the combustion chamber.
Audi can also operate its TFSI engines with a high compression ratio, which plays a major role in their efficiency.
The Audi Q3 uses two versions of the 2.0 TFSI with a displacement of 1,984 cc – one producing 125 kW (170 hp) and the other 155 kW (211 hp). The two-liter gasoline engine, a member of the state-of-the-art Audi 888 model series, is a born winner, having been named “Engine of the Year” five years in a row from 2005 to 2009 by an international jury.
Highly cultivated: two balance shafts.
Among the highlights of the four-cylinder gasoline engine are the intake camshaft, which can be adjusted steplessly across a range of 60 degrees, and the two balance shafts. Equipped with counterweights, they counter-rotate in the crankcase to counteract second-order inertial forces, resulting in a cultivated, low-vibration engine. Weighing just 33 kilograms (72.75 lb), the rigid crankcase of gray cast iron provides good acoustic damping. The cylinder bores have been extensively machined so that the piston rings slide easily with reduced pretension.
A common rail unit injects the fuel into the combustion chambers at a maximum pressure of 150 bar through six-port nozzles. Flaps in the intake manifold swirls the fuel precisely with the intake air. The newly developed turbocharger can withstand exhaust temperatures of up to 980 degrees Celsius (1,796 degrees Fahrenheit), reducing fuel consumption at high load by as much as 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers. The intercooler combines high efficiency with low weight. The regulated oil pump operates at two pressure levels, which also helps to reduce fuel consumption.
The more powerful version of the 2.0 TFSI with 155 kW (211 hp) delivers a brawny and constant 300 Nm (221.27 lb-ft) to the crankshaft between 1,800 and 4,900 rpm. In combination with the standard seven-speed S tronic, the four-cylinder unit accelerates the Audi Q3 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 6.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 230 km/h (142.92 mph). Fuel consumption is just 7.7 liters per 100 km (30.55 US mpg) on average, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of 179 grams per km (288.07 g/mile).
The 2.0 TFSI with 125 kW (170 hp) offers 280 Nm (206.52 lb-ft) of torque between 1,700 and 4,200 rpm. Coupled with a six-speed manual transmission, it accelerates the Q3 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 8.2 seconds. Top speed is 212 km/h (131.73 mph). Its average fuel consumption is 7.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (32.22 US mpg), which corresponds to 174 grams of CO2/km (280.03 g/mile).
Rounding out the Audi Q3 engine lineup somewhat later will be another powerful, turbocharged gasoline engine: the 2.5 TFSI. The sonorous five-cylinder will be the new top-of-the-line engine. With its brawny torque profile and power output of roughly 220 kW (300 hp), it will also top the compact SUV segment.
Groundbreaking efficiency: the TDI engines.
The TDI engines from Audi also set new standards, and have done so ever since their introduction 22 years ago. They represent a modern, smart form of sportiness. Their high power outputs, powerful torque, low fuel consumption and cultivation combine to form a harmonious whole.
The long-stroke 2.0 TDI displacing 1,968 cc (bore x stroke 81.0 x 95.5 millimeters [3.19 x 3.76 in]) is a high-tech engine. It tips the scales at just 154 kilograms (339.51 lb). The toothed belt for the two camshafts and the ancillaries is particularly quiet and low-friction. Little energy is needed to drive the water pump and the regulated oil pump, and the crankshaft seals have been optimized for easy running. Two balance shafts rotate in the crankcase.
The common rail injection system generates up to 1,800 bar of system pressure. The fuel is very precisely nebulized into the combustion chambers via eight-port nozzles with up to six injection operations per work cycle. The turbocharger uses adjustable vanes for the spontaneous development of torque, and the induction pipe is made of lightweight polymer. The intake ports, the swirler flaps and the bowls in the pistons generate targeted turbulence in the inflowing air.
The result of all of these measures is excellent thermodynamics in the combustion chambers, allowing the 2.0 TDI to be operated with a high exhaust gas recirculation rate. A compact intercooler greatly reduces the exhaust gas temperature, and the cooler combustion significantly reduces raw emissions of nitrogen oxides.
The two-liter, four-cylinder engine consumes just 5.9 liters of fuel per 100 km (39.87 US mpg) on average, which corresponds to 156 grams of CO2/km (251.06 g/mile). With 130 kW (177 hp) and 380 Nm (280.27 lb-ft) of torque – the latter available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm – the sprint to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) takes 8.2 seconds, and acceleration only ends when a top speed of 212 km/h (131.73 mph) is reached. The powerful two-liter TDI is mated to the S tronic.
Another version of the 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp), combined with a manual transmission and front-wheel drive, will follow somewhat later. With 320 Nm (236.02 lb-ft) of torque available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm, it accelerates the Q3 from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 9.9 seconds on its way to a top speed of 202 km/h (125.52 mph). With an average fuel consumption of less than 5.2 liters per 100 km (45.23 US mpg), the Audi Q3 with 103 kW (140 hp) is the most fuel-efficient premium SUV on the market. With a full 64-liter (16.91 US gallons) fuel tank, it has a range of more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).
The engines in the Audi Q3 work together with a variety of different transmissions. The 2.0 TFSI with 125 kW (170 hp) and the 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp) to appear somewhat later are mated to a manual six-speed gearbox. Models with the two top-of-the-line engines come standard with a seven-speed S tronic. All of the transmissions feature hydraulic bearings; this minimizes the propagation of vibrations and noise. The manual gearbox has a particularly lightweight magnesium casing. It features short, precise throws and is highly efficient.
With both transmissions, the short-ratio lower gears provide for powerful acceleration. The long ratios of the highest gears reduce engine speed and with it fuel consumption.
High-performance: the seven-speed S tronic.
The seven-speed S tronic is a versatile transmission. Drivers can let it shift automatically or change gears themselves using the selector lever or the optional paddles on the steering wheel. Two driving modes are available: In D mode, the engine runs as often as possible at low revs; in S mode, the driving style is sporty and the revs are higher.
The seven-speed S tronic transfers the engine’s power via three shafts – one drive shaft and two output shafts. This layout enables a short design, which is necessary for pairing it with the transverse four-cylinder engines.
Like all dual-clutch transmissions from Audi, the seven-speed S tronic comprises two transmission structures and integrates two multi-plate clutches. The large K1 clutch located on the outside conducts the engine torque via a solid shaft to the gear wheels for the odd gears 1, 3, 5 and 7. A hollow shaft rotates around the solid shaft. It is connected to the second, smaller K2 clutch, which is located inside its larger sibling, and which controls the gear wheels for the gears 2, 4 and 6, as well as reverse gear.
Both transmission structures are continuously active, but only one is connected to the engine at any one time. For example, when the driver accelerates in third gear, the fourth gear is already engaged in the second transmission structure. Shifts are performed by switching the clutches. Shifting gears takes only a few hundredths of a second and is completed with almost no interruption of traction. It is so dynamic, fluid and smooth that the driver hardly notices it.
The mechatronics module on the outside of the seven-speed S tronic is a compact and robust block comprising the control unit and the control and positioning valves. Among other things, it varies the speed of gear changes and precisely regulates the force required.
The management system for the multi-plate clutches is extremely precise. The transmission is responsive even in stop-and-go traffic and while maneuvering.
The oil in the seven-speed S tronic cools and lubricates the gears and the clutches. It also drives many of the components of the mechatronics module. A positioning valve regulates the flow of oil based on demand, keeping it as low as possible. The high-tech transmission can withstand heavy loads. A carbon coating makes the synchro rings extremely durable; gears one through three and the reverse gear are shifted via a triple-cone synchronizer.
One innovation featured in the S tronic is the free-wheel function. If the driver has selected “Efficiency” mode in the optional Audi drive select system, the clutch disengages when coasting, regardless of which gear is currently engaged. The sporty SUV free-wheels, which further reduces its fuel consumption.
Sportiness and stability: the drivetrain.
The Audi Q3 2.0 TDI with 103 kW (140 hp), to follow somewhat later, drives the front wheels. All other engines are paired with quattro permanent all-wheel drive. Its greatest strength lies in the enhanced slip-free acceleration, road dynamics, safety and directional stability that it delivers. The compact SUV is dynamic and stable, even in wet and slippery conditions. It safely delivers its power to the road when exiting corners.
The heart of the quattro drive system in the Audi Q3 is an electronically controlled, hydraulically actuated multi-plate clutch. In the interest of better axle load distribution, it is located on the end of the prop shaft, in front of the rear axle differential. Inside the clutch is a package of plates that rotate in an oil bath. The metal friction rings are arranged behind one another in pairs – one ring of each pair is rigidly meshed with the housing, which rotates with the prop shaft; the other ring is meshed with the output shaft to the rear axle differential.
During normal driving, the clutch sends most of the engine’s power to the front wheels. If traction decreases there, the 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 reciprocating piston pump to develop the necessary oil pressure, which can reach over 100 bar. If a wheel on one of the axles should slip, it is braked by the electronic differential lock (EDL).
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