Audi adds connectivity features to bigger Q3

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The Q3 gets an new octagonal grille, flanked by large side air inlets.

FRANKFURT — Audi has made its Q3 bigger and added more tech and connectivity equipment for the compact SUV’s second-generation.

The new Q3 switches to parent Volkswagen Group’s flexible MQB architecture from an older platform.

The Q3 is Audi’s third best-selling model globally after the Q5 SUV and A4 sedan, accounting for just over a tenth of the automaker’s overall volume. Last year Q3 sales fell 11 percent to 207,774 units.

The SUV has grown by 97 mm (3.8 inches) to distance itself from its Q2 smaller sibling. Its wheelbase has been stretched by 78 mm (3.1 inches), expanding knee room, headroom and elbow room. The vehicle is also slightly wider and minimally flatter than the first-generation.

The Q3 has a new digital instrument cluster.

Inside, the Q3 has a new digital instrument cluster with a 10.25-inch diagonal that comes standard in all models. Customers can also opt for Audi’s “virtual cockpit” with added functionality features including music track information and navigation on the driver’s main screen. Natural language voice control is offered with a higher level infotainment package. The Q3 also imports calendars and navigation routes from the myAudi app to its display.

The top line “Audi connect” function offers “swarm intelligence” that enables Q3 owners to report to the cloud important information. This can include everything from hazardous spots such as fog or black ice to an indication that they just vacated a parking spot. These helpful hints then show up on other Q3 drivers’ displays.

The Q3 has a sportier look.

A highlight of the car’s new safety system is the optional Adaptive Cruise Assist, which incorporates both longitudinal as well as lateral control by combining the functions of adaptive speed assist, traffic jam assist and active lane assist into one package.

In Europe, Audi will offer the Q3 with three gasoline engines and one diesel at launch, all with turbocharged four cylinders with direct injection and particulate filters. The entry-level 147-hp 1.5-liter gasoline version uses cylinder deactivation technology that turns off two of the pistons at low engine load to reduce consumption and emissions.

The 147-hp 2.0-liter diesel with all-wheel drive will be followed by versions offering just front-wheel drive as well as a 188-hp version.

The Q3 has an electric tailgate to access to luggage compartment whose capacity is 530 or 675 liters (18.7/23.8 cubic feet) depending on the position of the rear seats and backrests, rising to 1,525 liters (53.9 cubic feet) with the backrests down.

The Q3 will go on sale in Europe in November. Audi is shifting production to its Gyor plant in Hungary from Seat’s factory in Martorell, Spain.

Audi plans a plug-in hybrid version and, for China, a full-electric e-tron variant, media reports said.

You can reach Christiaan Hetzner at christiaan.hetzner@gmail.com.


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