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Audi Q3 SUV confirmed for production

Published: 22 April 2009

Audi has confirmed that it will put the Q3 SUV into production in 2011. The new car will be built at a Seat site in Spain, and Audi expects to invest €300m in the car and produce 80,000 units annually.

Audi is producing the Q3? That’s a bold move in the midst of a recession

Yes, but Ingolstadt is hoping that the world will be a better and brighter place by the time the new 4x4 rolls out of Seat’s Martorell plant in 2011 - it’s also the same year we will see the A1.

‘Following in-depth consideration of all relevant factors and an extensive international comparison of various sites, we selected Martorell,’ explained Audi chairman Rupert Stadler. ‘We are counting on this Spanish site’s efficiency, the excellent quality of the production department, and its highly trained staff. We will use the Group’s synergies to sharpen our competitive edge and help protect around 1200 jobs. The decision furthermore safeguards workplaces at other Audi locations.’

But while Audi has confirmed European production, it has postponed a decision over whether to produce the Q3 in the USA.

Just what is the Q3?

Audi describes the car as ‘a coupe-like five-door SUV with seat positions, wheel size, and ground clearance characteristic of a typical SUV’. To you and me it’s a funky 4x4 to sit below the Q5 and take on BMW's X1.

The Q3 was first previewed to the world in 2007, by the Cross Coupe concept shown at the Shanghai motor show. The production car uses the basic floorpan architecture of the VW Tiguan, and Audi’s Quattro four-wheel drive system will (of course) be available, though an eco-friendly front-wheel drive version is also thought to be on the cars.

Under the bonnet there will be a pair 2.0-litre TFSI engines, producing 168 and 207bhp, but taking the majority of sales will be the 2.0-litre diesel, available in 138 and 168bhp guises.

>> Would you be tempted to buy a Q3 instead of a Q5? Will the new model eat into the Q5’s profitability, just like that car has undermined the money-making ability of the Q7? Would you rather have a BMW X1? Click ‘Add your comment’ below and have your say

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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