Our spies temporarily based in Lapland had the opportunity to film the other day a few prototypes of the next-generation Q3 while these were being accompanied by a great number of other Audis, including the flagship A8. While the crossovers were still wearing a lot of camouflage, it seems the exterior design won’t be going through any major changes for the model’s next iteration. That’s hardly a surprise taking into account recent new models carrying the four rings aren’t that much different compared to their respective predecessors.
That being said, the devil is indeed in the details as the headlights have a different shape compared to those of the outgoing Q3 and at the back you can see the taillights have changed as well. Since we’ve mentioned the lighting clusters, it’s fairly easy to differentiate the prototypes from one another (aside from looking at the license plates) as these test vehicles had different lighting setups. For example, the one with the license plate ending in “4908” was the fanciest of them all by boasting a full LED configuration and sweeping turn signals. Others were of the lesser trim level with LEDs only for some of the functions and combined with old-fashioned halogen turn signals.
No longer the entry point into Audi’s vast crossover lineup, the Q3 will likely grow a bit in size to distance itself from the Q2. It will switch to the versatile MQB platform and that should bring a healthy weight loss despite the increased footprint. While the exterior won’t be all that different, we’re expecting bigger changes to occur inside the cabin to mirror Audi’s latest tech-heavy offerings.
Being a member of the continuously growing MQB family, it means we already have a general idea of what to expect in terms of powertrains, including the 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter TSI gasoline units and the familiar 2.0 TDI as the diesel won’t be retired that easily. A more frugal hybrid version is likely in the offing, along with a hot RS derivative slated to arrive later in the model’s life cycle.
It will be out later this year as per a product roadmap from the end of January and won’t be the only new crossover from the company considering the Q8 and fully electric E-Tron will also be out in 2018.