The new model will go larger and move to VW Group's MQB platform.

Audi has shipped test mules for the next-generation Q3 to the snowier portions of Europe, and our spies caught the cold-weather evaluations. While the company doesn’t overhaul the premium crossover’s looks, there are major changes underneath the sheet metal.

The new Q3 moves to Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform, and the switch brings major benefits like lower weight. The wheelbase grows longer, which allows for more room inside. The body’s overhangs also appear shorter that also makes the model appear somewhat bigger.

Revealed:

The camouflage here hides the exact changes to the body, but Audi’s designers appear to take an evolutionary route for the latest generation of the Q3. Up front, the grille is much larger than the current model, which gives the new crossover a more aggressive look. In profile, the more steeply raked hatchback endows the Audi with a sleek silhouette.

Spy shots haven’t yet provided a peek inside the new Q3. However, expect Audi’s high-tech Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster to at least be an option, if not a standard feature on higher-level trims. Infotainment system and driver assistance upgrades are also very likely.

Moving to the MQB platform also opens up the powertrain options for the Q3. Depending on the market, buyers would be able to choose from a wide array of three- and four-cylinder engines. A plug-in hybrid will reportedly join the lineup later. At the very top of the range, the RS Q3 will allegedly use Audi’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder

The new Q3 will likely debut in the first half of 2018, and it’ll be on sale in some markets before the end of the year.

Source: Automedia

Gallery: Audi Q3 Spy Photos