Production of Audi’s keenly-awaited Q3 mini-SUV has kicked off – at cousin Seat’s plant in Martorell, Spain, apparently in a show of how the companies are “making use of synergies within the Group”. Frank Dreves, board member for production at Audi AG, said: “The Martorell factory is an extremely productive facility with a highly skilled workforce, and one that meets the exacting quality standards of our brand. The Q3 definitely gets the Audi seal of approval.”Around 1500 people are employed at the plant and all have completed a nearly 180-hour training programme designed specifically for Q3 production. The small and sporty Q3 joins the Q5 and Q7 as Audi’s SUV offerings. According to Audi, the latest member of the family will stand out “on account of its extremely sporty driving experience”.At its European launch, the Q3 will be offered with three four-cylinder powerplants familiar to the VW Group – a turbodiesel TDI and two petrol TFSI engines, developing between 103 and 155kW. About 100 000 Q3 units will be built per year. The first Q3 units destined for South Africa should make their way here in the second quarter of 2012.