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2019 Audi Q3 Photo: Supplied
2019 Audi Q3 Photo: Supplied
2019 Audi Q3 Photo: Supplied
 
 
Greg Kable | Jul, 25 2018 | 0 Comments

Audi has revealed the second-generation Q3 in a series of official photographs ahead of a planned public debut for the new SUV at the Paris motor show in September and a start to Australian sales during the first-half of 2019.

Sporting a bolder appearance with an even more prominent grille, distinctive LED-equipped headlamps and greater structuring to its flanks as well as larger dimensions that help to liberate greater interior space and luggage capacity than its seven-old-predecessor, the new Q3 has been re-engineered from the ground up in a bid to see it provide greater competition to a host of premium brand rivals, including the BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace and Lexus UX.

At the heart of the high-riding Audi model is the latest generation of parent company Volkswagen’s MQB platform. It replaces the outdated PQ35 underpinnings of the first-generation Q3 introduced back in 2011, bringing with it considerable improvements in packaging and greater levels of rigidity that officials at Audi’s Ingolstadt headquarters contend endows it with vastly improved levels of refinement.     

Further developments for the successor to what has become one of Audi’s strongest selling models in recent years include a range of updated petrol and diesel engines – the former boasting a particulate filter for lower CO2 emission and the latter fitted with an improved SCR (selective catalytic reduction) filter for reduced nitrous oxide emissions. They are mated to revised gearboxes and, in selected upper-end models, a new electro-hydraulic multi-plate four-wheel drive system for what Audi describes as “improved levels of traction”.

With the Q2 now positioned below it in the Audi line-up, it is no surprise to see the Q3 has grown in size. At 4485mm in length and 1849mm in width, the new second-generation model is a significant 97mm longer and 18mm wider than its predecessor. Height, meanwhile, is reduced by a scant 5mm over the first-generation model at 1585mm.

The increase in dimensions is allied to a larger footprint; the wheelbase of the 2018-model-year Q3 is increased by 78mm at 2681mm, while its front and rear track widths are up by 32mm and 23mm at a respective 1584mm and 1577mm. The wheels and tyres, meanwhile, range in size from 17-inch through to optional 20-inch in diameter - the latter available with 255/50 profile tyres.

Inside, the new Q3 gets a distinctly upmarket interior featuring a newly designed dashboard that includes digital instruments as standard within a 10.3 inch display operated through a multi-function steering wheel. Additionally, the new Audi offers either a standard 8.8-inch or optional 10.1-inch and 12.3-inch MMI (Multi Media Interface) touch-screen displays within the upper section of the centre console for various functions, including navigation, maps, radio and internet connectivity for the myAudi app, which enables the driver or passengers to connect their smartphone to the new Audi model.

Audi claims the MMI used by the Q3 sets a new standard in the class. In its ultimate “navigation plus” form, it uses real time data and the latest in digital mapping via HERE  - the former Nokia division now owned by Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz' parent company Daimler. On top of this, buyers of the new SUV can also option it with LTE connectivity via a SIM card which is permanently installed in the dashboard.

Along with improved connectivity options, Audi has also pushed to make the new Q3 a safer car to drive. Among its standard equipment is a new pre sense front safety system. Using radar, it detects critical situations involving pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles and provides the driver with a visual, audible and haptic warning. If necessary, it also initiates emergency braking to avoid a collision. Further standard equipment on the new Audi includes a lane departure warning, LED headlamps, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, a light/rain sensor and adjustable speed limiter.  

In a bid to boost its versatility, Audi has provided the new Q3 with larger door apertures and a larger tailgate opening. It also receives a sliding rear seat, which can be adjusted by 150mm fore-and-aft and also comes with seven stage backrest adjustment. 

The increase in overall dimensions has not only helped to boost the accommodation of Audi’s popular SUV models, it has also led to a considerable increase in boot space, which is up by 60-litres over the first-generation Q3 at a nominal 530-litres when the adjustable rear seat is set in its most rearward setting. With the rear seat set all the way forward, boot space is put at 675-litres, increasing to 1525-litres when the 40:20:40 configured rear seat backs are folded down.

By comparison, the BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace and Lexus NX serve up a respective 505-, 577-, and 555-litres of nominal boot space with their rear seat in place. 

Audi has confirmed the new Q3 will offer two turbocharged petrol and a single turbocharged diesel engine from the start of European sales later this year.

The four-cylinder units are mated to either a standard six-speed manual or seven-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox and the choice of either standard front- or optional four-wheel drive.

The petrol engines, which all feature a particulate filter for a claimed reduction in CO2 emissions, start with an entry-level 1.5-litre unit delivering 110kW in the Q3 35 TFSI. Above it is a 2.0-litre unit with either 140kW in the Q3 40 TFSI or 169kW in the Q3 45 TFSI.

The sole diesel is a 2.0-litre engine with 110kW in the Q3 35 TDI.

Audi has also confirmed a more powerful version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine with 140kW in a Q3 40 TDI model, though it is not planned to be made available from the outset.

Production of the new Q3 is set to take place at Audi’s Gyor factory in Hungary. Left-hand drive European delivery is planned for November, but right-hand drive Australian delivery is not expected to get underway until mid-2019.  

 
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