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Audi’s major model onslaught: Next-gen Q3 compact SUV arrives in Mzansi

2019-08-28 11:58
Audi Q3

Image: Motorpress

Audi has launched a major model offensive in South Africa and the latest offering is its next-generation Q3. The second-generation compact SUV appears not only visually more self-confident but offers far greater utility thanks more space and enhanced practicality.

The Q3 features the brand’s digital cockpit and large MMI screen with touch response. New assist systems support the driver when parking, in town and on long journeys. 

The new Audi Q3, which is based on the Volkswagen Group’s modular transverse matrix, has grown in virtually all dimensions and is positioned in the upper compact SUV segment.

It is 4.4m long, making it 96mm longer than its predecessor. In terms of width, it has grown 18mm to 1.8m but at 1.5m without the roof aerial, it is 5mm flatter than the first-generation Q3. Its wheelbase, which has been stretched 77mm to 2.6m is much more spacious – knee room, headroom and elbow room are even larger.

The Q3 is available with a single engine offering– a 1.4-litre petrol engine capable of 110kW/ 250Nm. A six-speed S tronic is used to transmit the power to the front wheels.

Off-road, the front wheel drive delivers excellent driving pleasure with optimum traction and supreme stability.

Activated at the push of a button, the optional hill descent control maintains the preset speed on a steep downhill gradient.As an option, the driver can vary the characteristics of the Q3 depending on the driving situation, road conditions or personal needs using the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. It offers six profiles – from markedly comfortable, highly efficient through to out-and-out sporty.

The system influences the throttle response, steering and shift characteristics of the S tronic as well as the optional suspension with damper control where sensors measure the body movement.

Alternatively, there is the sport suspension – standard with the S line exterior package – with tauter spring/damper tuning and progressive steering. Its ratio becomes increasingly direct with increasing steering angle, adding substantially to the agile and light-footed handling of the new Audi Q3.

Audi Q3

Strength and presence: the exterior design

The new Audi Q3 looks much sportier than its predecessor. The single-frame grille in octagon design and large side air inlets characterise the aggressive front-end. Eight vertical bars divide up the radiator grille with its striking frame and reflect the SUV character. The headlights are narrow and run inwards with their wedge shape. Audi supplies them with LED technology including dynamic turn signals as standard. Customers are also able to upgrade to Matrix LED headlights (available as an optional extra) which intelligently illuminates the road through its adaptive high beam technology. Many customisble options are available including contrasting paint.

With the S line exterior package, the bumpers, sill trims and diffuser are given a sportier design. Eleven paint colours are available. There are also two exterior trim lines available in addition to the standard model, namely the Advanced and S line trim lines. Each provides a differentiated exterior visual appearance with characteristic bumper elements and larger rims.

Audi Q3

Large and adaptable: the space concept

One highlight is the standard-fit highly variable division of space: the rear seats can be moved fore/aft by 150mm.

Their three-way split backrests in the ratio 40:20:40 can be tilted in seven stages. Rear passengers also have the option of a centre armrest that features two cup holders as standard.Depending on the position of the rear seats and backrests, the luggage compartment capacity totals 530 or 675 litres. With the backrests folded down the figure rises to 1525 litres.

The loading floor can be adjusted in up to three levels; the low loading sill of 748mm makes it easier to stow heavy luggage. If the parcel shelf is not needed, it can be stowed under the loading floor. For extra comfort on long journeys, Audi offers the storage and luggage compartment package as an option or part of the comfort package.

Besides nets on the backs of the front seats and a storage compartment under the front passenger seat, it includes a luggage compartment net as well as LED spotlights in the tailgate to provide illumination whatever the vehicle is carrying.

The optional extra electric tailgate provides effortless access to the luggage compartment. In conjunction with the convenience key, it can also be opened and closed with a kicking motion.

Digital world: controls and displaysThe operating and display concept of the family SUV has been overhauled from the ground up – Audi has done away with the analogue instruments.

The digital instrument cluster with a 10.25 inch screen is standard equipment, which the driver operates using the multifunction steering wheel. Customers can also upgrade the instrument cluster to the Audi virtual cockpit with additional functions. It incorporates, for instance, the MMI functions and, in addition to road and engine speed, also displays information on music tracks. If the customer has specified navigation, the display also includes the navigation map. The driver can configure the display according to their needs and has all the data in their direct field of view.

The standard MMI radio plus also includes an MMI touch display with 8.8" screen in the centre of the instrument panel. With the top-of-the-line equipment, MMI navigation plus, this touchscreen measures 10.1”. The displays appear in the 10.25” Audi virtual cockpit, which the customer can upgrade as an option to the Audi virtual cockpit plus with a 12.3" screen.

The driver can call up three different views on the screen, including a new extra sporty display. MMI Navigation plus including the Audi virtual cockpit plus is available in the Technology package, which also includes Audi connect with limited functionality, contour ambient lighting and interior finishes in aluminium.In addition, the Audi Q3 with MMI navigation plus also comes with new natural-language voice control.

It also understands freely structured wording. The ingenious dialogue manager asks questions if necessary, allows corrections, offers choices and defers to the speaker when interrupted.

Audi Q3 satnav cluster

Convenience and safety: driver assistance systems

Substantially enhancing comfort on long journeys is the lane departure warning system.

It is active from speeds of approximately 60 km/h and helps prevent the vehicle inadvertently drifting out of the lane. If the driver has not set an indicator and the car is about to cross the lane markings, the system assists with corrective steering intervention. As an option, the driver can set the steering wheel to provide an additional vibration.

The Audi Q3 makes maneuvering easier thanks to functions such as the park assist. It steers the SUV automatically into and out of parking spaces. The driver only has to accelerate, brake and shift gears. If the driver wants to reverse out of a parallel parking space or a tight entrance, cross traffic assist is activated. The system monitors the area behind the vehicle using two radar sensors and alerts the driver in critical situations.

The four 360 degree cameras provide another useful function. They show on the large infotainment screen the immediate surroundings of the Q3 when moving at speeds up to 10 km/h. Touch operation allows the driver to switch between various views.

In addition to the virtual bird’s eye view, the reversing camera view and the front and rear 180° panoramic view, there is a detailed view of the front and rear wheels.

Audi Q3 interior

Local packages: offering simplicity 

Audi South Africa has introduced a new package concept which will be adopted for all new models to be launched. The concept aims to reduce complexity when ordering a new vehicle, considering that a customer is generally faced with a long list of options to choose from.

It classifies key options according to a specific customer need and offers a straight-forward value proposition that is easy for a customer to understand. These packages have been defined by a combination of customer preferences as well as strategic options which aim to highlight Audi’s uniqueness or technology enhancements.

The packages include:

• Comfort

• Technology

• Sport

• Parking

• S line interior

• Black styling

Within each package structure is a few options suited to the particular proposition. For example, the Comfort package includes storage and luggage; parking aid plus; electric tailgate; electric seats; seat heating and 4 way lumbar support.Standard equipment

An extensive list of standard equipment is available on the Audi Q3 35 TFSI S tronic:

• 2 zone climate control system• LED interior lighting

• Anti-theft wheel bolts and alarm system

• Audi smartphone interface

• Audi sound system

• Auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, frameless

• Black roof rails

• Bluetooth interface

• Body-coloured exterior mirror housings

• 17" Cast alloy wheels, 5-double spoke style

• Centre arm rest in front

• Cruise control system

• Dashboard accent surface in black gloss look

• Decorative insert in micro metallic silver

• Digital cockpit

• Electronic stability control (ESC)

• Exterior mirrors, power-adjustable

• First aid kit and warning triangle

• Front seats, manually adjustable

• Headlight range control

• Headliner in Moon silver fabric

• High gloss styling package

• Hill descent control

• Hold assist

• Isofix child seat anchors and top tether for outer rear bench seat

• Isofix child seat anchors for the front passenger seat

• Leather steering wheel, 3-spoke, with multi-function Plus

• Leather / leatherette combination

• LEDs and rear combination lights with dynamic turn signals

• Light / rain sensor

• Manual luggage compartment lid

• MMI Radio plus

• Plastic loading edge protection

• Rear bench seat Plus with centre armrest and beverage holder

• Rear parking aid

• Roof spoiler including centre high-mounted stop lamp

• Remote control key (with SAFELOCK)

• Scuff plates with aluminium inserts in front and rear, illuminated

• Separate daytime running light

• Side airbags in front and curtain airbag system

• Stainless steel loading edge protection

• Space saving spare wheel

• Standard bumpers (grained add-on parts)

• Standard suspension

• Tyre pressure monitoring system

• Voice recognition

Prices:

The Audi Q3 range is priced as follows, along with the standard Audi Freeway plan (5 year /or 100 000km) and inclusive of all taxes:

• Audi Q3 35 TFSI S tronic at R 565 000

• Audi Q3 35 TFSI S tronic Advanced at R 585 000

• Audi Q3 35 TFSI S tronic S line at R 599 000

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