Audi’s vast range of vehicles is about to expand. The Q3 Sportback, a small-medium SUV that features a strong coupe styling, is on its way. Pricing is sharp and it will be, to start, a two model range. The Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI S line with a 1.4L turbo four that produces 110kW and 250Nm will kick off at $49,900, whilst the Launch Edition will start from $56,450. These are manufacturers list price and do not include dealer or government charges.
Styling tweaks see the Sportback longer and lower than the standard Q3. Audi quietly nods to its Quattro heritage with the body having larger wheel arch “blisters”. The S Line and Launch Edition will roll on 19 inch alloys. The powerplant itself pairs up with a slick six speed S-Tronic auto, putting drive to the front wjheels in the S Line. It’s not a rocket ship though, with a 0-100 time of 9.3 seconds. Economy is quoted as 7.3 litres per 100km whilst emissions are 167 grams per km. A bigger engine and an extra cog will feature in the Q3 40 S-Line model. 132kW will come from a 2.0L engine, driving all four corners via a seven speed S-Tronic.
The Launch Edition is will include additional features, such as metallic paint as standard, privacy glass, and a black exterior styling package. The folding wing mirrors are heated too. Inside there’s a bespoke sound system, auto dimming rear vision mirror, plus LED colour lighting, heated front pews with powered lumbar support, and a 360 degree camera system. Safety features will include Adaptive Cruise Assist, along with active lane assist and emergency assist.
ANCAP have awarded the Q3 Sportback a five star rating, as Autonomous Emergency Braking or AEB, with cyclist and pedestrian detection is on board, as are lane departure warning, lane change warning, rear cross-traffic assist, tyre pressure monitors, and hill descent control. Six airbags will be fitted with no driver’s kneebag as part of the package. Naturally technology is a major part of the Q3 Sportback, just like its sibling. The Audi “Virtual Cockpit” will star for the driver, as will MMI navigation and MMI touchscreen. DAB audio provides the sounds and Audi’s voice control is tuned to be a natural language style for better usage.
Both USB-A and USB-C ports will feature for front and rear seats, and connectivity in the form of wireless Apple CarPlay, a smartphone charge pad and a handy dual Bluetooth connectivity is standard. Audi Connect Plus provides real time traffic info, petrol station fuel pricing, parking space availability at listed stations, and even weather updates.
Drivers with a sporting bent will be well pleased thanks to a fettling of the steering plus selected driving modes for a variety of driving situations. Audi drive select allows driving characteristics to be altered with a selection of various modes through the MMI controls.
Although it’s of a coupe styling, rear room isn’t compromised. The 530 litres of cargo space is the same as the non-coupe Q3. 40:20:40 split fold and sliding second row seats allow up to 1400L as required.
Paul Sansom, Managing Director of Audi Australia, says: “The very first Q3 Sportback expands Audi’s presence in the premium compact SUV segment. In a single generation, the Audi Q3 established itself as the benchmark in its class, underlined by its enduring popularity throughout its lifetime. The new model is stronger in every conceivable area, and the very first Q3 Sportback offers an even more expressive alternative for buyers. The growing share of the premium compact SUV segment shows no sign of slowing down, and so the Q3 Sportback is absolutely the right car at the right time for the Australian market.”
Deliveries for Australia are expected to start in March of 2020.