Audi Q3 (2012) spy photos of baby crossover

Published: 11 February 2011

These are our best spy photos yet of the new Audi Q3, a baby crossover inspired by the Cross Coupe concept car of 2007 and designed to slot beneath the Q7 behemoth and rather more attractive Q5.

Audi is entering the final stages of development ahead of a planned debut at the Frankfurt motor show later in 2011. It should go on UK sale by the end of 2011, priced from around £24,000.

Audi Q3: the lowdown

As our scoop photos prove, the new Audi Q3 is a fastbacked hatch on stilts more than a proper mud plugger. A bit like Range Rover’s new Evoque then.

It’ll be based on a similar mechanical package to Volkswagen’s Tiguan and the company has confirmed it’ll be built in Seat’s Martorell factory in Spain.

Why Audi’s launching the Q3

Audi chairman Rupert Stadler has previously explained to CAR the downsizing plan at Audi: ‘Of course, we shall continue offering a wide variety of mid- to high-end products. But that´s not where car makers currently grow in volume and market share. Demand has shifted towards the bottom end of the market, and it would be foolish to ignore this trend – especially when you consider Audi’s position within the VW group which makes it relatively easy for us to source the suitable hardware.’

Audi Q3 in detail

Early documents seen by CAR suggest the following spec for the Q3:

• Length 4357mm
• Height 1583mm
• Width 1818mm
• Wheelbase 2605mm
• Bootspace 465 litres
• Fuel tank 64 litres
• Kerbweight from 1590kg

The exact engine line-up is still under wraps, but CAR expects a pair of 2.0-litre fours. The petrol TFSI will be rated at 170bhp or 200bhp, while the TDI diesels will offer around 140bhp and 170bhp. Quattro is going to be standard on the Q3, although Audi could technically launch a front-drive version later in the lifecycle.

What price the Audi Q3?

We hear the European price stretch goes from around £24,000-28,000. If accurate, that’d place the Q3 neatly below the popular Q5 which starts at £28k over here. It’s proving a bit hit with buyers and Brits currently have to wait six months for a new Q5.

Don’t expect the situation to be much better for the Q3. It won’t necessarily be a higher volume model, according to our sources – reflecting the fact that the A1 is in fact a more niche model than the A3.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet