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Audi Q3 beefs up for the slopes

2012-01-10 09:30

ROUGH STUFF: The Q3 Vail concept is tougher than the average Q3.

Audi has revealed a special concept version of its new Q3 baby SUV at the Detroit auto show.

The concept Q3 Vail is designed for “young fans who love skiing and snowboarding”, Audi said at the show, and shows a variation to the traditional SUV formula. Power is supplied by a 2.5-litre TFSI engine producing 234kW.

The more aggressively styled SUV has running boards and flared wheel arches while an element of practicality is added by the aluminium roof rails holding the carbon fibre skis and snowboards. The front section of the rail contains wide-angled LED lights to illuminate the area around the Q3 Vail.


Twenty inch, five-spoked alloy rims are shod with bona fide off-road tyres, while this Q3’s more purposeful stance is assured with a track that is wider by 40mm at the front and rear, compared to regular production Q3s. The body is 30mm higher, too.

Audi Q3 Vail concept

BABY BRUISER: The A3 Vail concept is more than just additional cosmetic details.

The concept is finished in Energy Red containing golden pearlescent particles while its add-on body parts are matt grey. Aluminium and gloss black accents complete the concept’s exterior adornment.

The interior of the Q3 Vail has a black, grey and red colour scheme and a clever leather-and-fabric material is used for the upholstery where thin strips of leather just a few tenths of a millimetre wide are interwoven with yarn.

The entire instrument panel is trimmed in black Nappa leather with contrasting stitching in titanium grey, while the leather across the hood of the instrument cluster is steel grey with red contrasting stitching. This colour scheme is replicated on the door armrests.

The interior of the Audi Q3 Vail includes two practical devices for winter sports fans. The side wall of the boot section houses a charging station that can be used for storing torches and charging them at the same time. The same technology is used for the Thermos bottle located in the cup holder between the front seats that is able to chill or warm drinks.


One attractive extra is that the torches incorporate an infra-red heating element that can be used for warming hands or ski boots.

Audi Q3 Vail concept

HIT THE SLOPES: This Q3 concept was designed for snowy conditions, but its clever kit could be useful in SA, too.

Another intelligent solution in the concept is the load floor mat with integrated heated seat cushions. The mat can be folded out and laid over the loading lip to protect the edge while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded, and it also provides a warm area to sit on when putting on or taking off your ski boots.

The Audi Q3 Vail features the automaker's 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI engine with direct injection and turbocharging that generates an output of 234kW/400Nm. Power is transferred to the permanent all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic transmission.

The all-new Q3 will arrive in South Africa in the second quarter of 2012.

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