It’s crazy what a few new creases in the sheet metal can do to a vehicle’s design.
Audi is expanding its lineup with yet another crossover – the Q3 Sportback, a coupe-like version of the Q3. The new 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback gives the crossover a new look without the need for a new platform. New creases in the sheet metal paired with the lowered and sloped roof give the new crossover a sportier appearance.
The sloped roof is one of the more dramatic design changes from the standard Q3; however, there are plenty of changes elsewhere that differentiate the new Q3 Sportback from the standard model. New, more aggressive design lines arch over the wheels while Audi lowered the shoulder line to cut through the door handles as opposed to above them. This gives the crossover a more sculpted appearance.
It’s difficult to miss the changes at the rear. The Q3 Sportback is longer than the standard model though not by as much as your eyes suggest – 0.6 inches (16 millimeters). The Q3 Sportback is shorter in height – 1.1 inches (29 mm) – which exacerbates its length. To accommodate the Q3’s sportier design is a more aggressive rear-end appearance with a sculpted lower rear fascia and diffuser.
Under the hood, the most powerful engine is Audi’s turbocharged 2.0-liter making 226 horsepower (169 kilowatts). Two 2.0-liter diesel engines are also available making 147 hp (110 kW) and 187 hp (140 kW). Coming later is a 147-hp (110-kW) 1.5-liter four-cylinder that gets an efficiency boost from a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. All engines pair with Audi’s seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch transmission.
Gallery: 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback
Quattro all-wheel drive is standard except on the entry-level 1.5-liter gasoline and 2.0-liter diesel engines, which are front-wheel-drive offerings. Manual gearboxes are available for both, while Quattro all-wheel drive is an available option for the diesel. Don’t expect the manual gearbox to make it stateside.
The 2020 Audi Q3 Sportback hits European dealerships in November with U.S. sales likely starting in 2020. Expect pricing information closer to the crossover’s launch.
Powerful Elegance: The Audi Q3 Sportback
Ingolstadt, May 6, 2019 –Audi is adding a compact SUV in coupé shape to its model range: the Audi Q3 Sportback. The new model combines the strong presence and versatile everyday convenience of an SUV with the sporty elegance and agile handling of a coupé. This makes it the first compact crossover of the Audi brand.
Low roofline, muscular body: the design The Audi Q3 Sportback is a car for customers who value technical innovation and sporty character as highly as expressive design. The compact SUV coupé stands for strength and precision to an equal degree, and reflects this in all design details. Its outstanding feature is the large, octagonal Singleframe, which underlines its membership of the new Audi Q family. Its black grille with a honeycomb structure is surrounded by a silver frame, which makes the front even more expressive. The same is true of the trapezoidal air inlets, which are connected to each other by a horizontal blade in the bumper. The narrow headlights run inwards with their wedge shape. Audi supplies them in three versions through to Matrix LED technology, whose adaptive high beam intelligently illuminates the road as best suits the driving situation.
The coupé-like passenger cab stands in contrast to the front, which is characterized by clear SUV features. Thanks to the low roof, which gives way to flat, sloped D-pillars, the sideview of the Audi Q3 Sportback makes it appear clearly longer than its sister model Q3. In reality, it is a difference of only 16 mm (0.6 in). In addition, the SUV coupé is 29 mm (1.1 in) flatter. Its elegant shoulder line runs lower than in the Q3 and thus lowers the body’s optical focus. This makes it appear more muscular. Above the wheels, strong contours draw attention to the quattro drive, which comes as standard with most engines. Shadowing at the bottom of the door emphasizes the midsection of the SUV coupé and reinforces the athletic character.
The rear is every bit as powerful as the front of the Audi Q3 Sportback. Many light and shadow effects arise here in plastic form. Above the low window flanked by aero panels, a long roof edge spoiler emphasizes the width of the crossover. The rear lights, which take up and vary the design of the LED headlights, also contribute to this. A diffusor with a wide blade and two conspicuous ribs forms the bottom section.
Sporty-elegant: the exterior variants
A total of eleven exterior colors is available for selection for the Audi Q3 Sportback. In the basic equipment, the attachments in the lower area of the body are painted in the contrasting color Manhattan gray, which emphasizes the SUV character. In the S line exterior, the bumpers, the wheel arch trims and sill trims are also distinctively colored. On request, the customer can receive these objects painted in the body color. The honeycomb grid in the Singleframe appears even more distinctive in the Q3 Sportback S line thanks to aluminum elements. The same is true of the side sills with their silver insert. The conspicuous diffusor with four vertical ribs incorporates the implied air outlets like a boomerang and lends the rear even more dynamism. In the sporty model, the 215/65 basic tires with 17-inch wheels in the sophisticated 5-twin-spoke design are replaced by 18-inch aluminum wheels in a 5-twin-arm design with 235/55 tires. In conjunction with the optional 19- and 20-inch wheels from Audi Sport, the wheel arch trims have been slightly widened.
Every Audi Q3 Sportback receives the gloss package as standard. This draws extra attention to the roof frame and window slot trims in aluminum, while the B- and C-pillar trims shine in black. The black styling package ensures an even more dynamic appearance because it makes the body appear flatter thanks to dark surfaces on the bumpers. It also emphasizes the Singleframe and the trim strips on the side windows. In the S line, the insert in the sills is black. As an option, black exterior mirror housings can be added to the package.
TFSI, TDI, S tronic, quattro: the drive
The engines in the Audi Q3 Sportback work efficiently, powerfully and in a cultivated manner, and have been certified to the Euro 6d-TEMP emission standard. For the market launch in Europe, there will be one gasoline and two diesel engines. The 2.0 TFSI in the Audi Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI quattro is the most powerful engine with 169 kW (230 metric hp). The two 2.0 TDIs provide 110 kW (150 metric hp) and 140 kW (190 metric hp)—they power the Q3 Sportback 35 TDI and the Q3 Sportback 40 TDI quattro.
It will not be long before a 1.5-liter gasoline engine will follow in the Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI. It also provides 110 kW (150 metric hp) and features the cylinder-on-demand system. At low and medium loads, it switches the second and third cylinders off, which reduces consumption. In conjunction with the dual-clutch transmission, the 1.5 TFSI features another efficiency technology: the mild-hybrid system (MHEV), which uses a 48 V on-board electrical system. It reduces fuel consumption in practice by up to 0.4 l (0.1 US gal) per 100 km (62.1 mi), and also increases driving comfort. The belt alternator starter (BAS), the heart of the MHEV system, can recover up to 12 kW of power during deceleration and feed this into a compact lithium-ion battery. If the driver decelerates at speeds between 40 (24.8 mph) and 160 km/h (99.4 mph), the Q3 Sportback 1.5 TFSI MHEV rolls in neutral or coasts with the engine switched off. The engine management selects one of these three functions depending on the driving situation and the operating state. As soon as the driver accelerates, the belt alternator starter restarts the 1.5 TFSI quickly and smoothly. When accelerating from low speeds, it supports the driver. The start-stop range begins as low as 21 km/h (13.0 mph).
With all engines types, the seven-gear S tronic, which shifts at a lightning-fast speed, as well as the quattro all-wheel drive system take on the job of force transmission. The exceptions to this are the two front-driven entry-level engines with 110 kW (150 metric hp): the 1.5 TFSI and 2.0 TDI. These are also available as manual transmissions. The diesel engine is also available as a quattro version as an option. The central component in the all-wheel drive is an electronically controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch on the rear axle. Its management combines outstanding stability and top traction with a high level of driving enjoyment. It can begin sending a portion of the drive torque from the front axle to the rear axle as early as when the driver turns sportily into a corner. As soon as the driver accelerates, they press the car into the curve. At the limits of performance, the quattro drive works closely together with the wheel-selective torque control, The software function makes handling even more dynamic and stable by means of gentle brake interventions, on the inside wheels with the quattro drive and the inside front wheel with the front drive, as this relocates the drive torque to the outside of the curve.
Generous and variable: the space concept The Audi Q3 Sportback is one of the most spacious models in its segment. It is 4,500 mm (14.8 ft) long, 1,556 mm (5.1 ft) tall, and 1,843 mm (6.05 ft) wide. This makes the SUV coupé 16 mm (0.6 in) longer, 29 mm (1.1 in) flatter and 6 mm (0.2 in) thinner than the Audi Q3. The wheelbase is exactly 2,680 mm (8.8 ft) in both models and forms the basis for an appropriately generous space offering.
The SUV coupé has been designed as a fully-fledged five seater. It offers comfortable entry, a good overview and a sporty seat position for the driver and front passenger. The front seats— electrically adjustable and heated as an option—are not offered as standard until the next-highest vehicle class. The rear seats can be moved 130 mm (5.1 in) longitudinally as standard; their backrests are divided into three sections, and their inclination can be adjusted in seven stages. Behind the rear seats, the luggage compartment can accommodate 530 l (18.7 cu ft); up to 1,400 l (49.4 cu ft) when the backrests are folded down. The loading floor can be used at various levels; the rear shelf is located beneath it for practical reasons. When desired, Audi can deliver an electric tailgate, which can also be opened and closed with a foot motion.
Architecture of the full-size models: the interior The sporty-firm design of the exterior is continued in the interior of the compact SUV coupé: the emphasis on the horizontals conveys an airy feeling of space. As in Audi’s full-size models, the architecture is in perfect harmony with the operating concept. Its central element is the optional MMI touch display, with its wide, high-gloss black trim. It is octagonal in shape and thus copies the design of the Singleframe. Just like the air-conditioning control unit located beneath it, the display is tilted 10° towards the driver.
Thanks to the flexible lines concept and the comprehensive range of colors and materials, customers can also customize the interior of their Audi Q3 Sportback to a considerable degree. In addition to five different inlays for the instrument panel, there is seat upholstery made of fabric, artificial leather, leather and Alcantara, while there are numerous color hues and designs available for selection.
All three equipment lines—the basic version, the interior design selection and the interior S line—can be combined in any number of ways with the exterior lines. Both options include sport seats, the covers of which are decorated with contrasting stitching. In the interior design selection, a thin accent stripe runs along the side bolsters depending on which seat color has been selected. In addition, Alcantara surfaces on the instrument panel and the armrests underline the progressive design philosophy. They are available in amber brown, lunar silver, orange and steel gray at the customer’s request. In the dark, the optional contour/ambient lighting package emphasizes specific features on the doors and center tunnel. It can be set to 30 different colors, depending on the mood.
Digital world: operation and displays The operating and display concept of the Q3 Sportback shows how Audi is making progress with the digitalization of its models. Even with the basic equipment with the MMI radio, a digital instrument cluster with a 10.25-inch screen diagonal is on board. The driver operates it using the multifunction steering wheel. In the top-of-the-line system, MMI navigation plus, the displays appear in the Audi virtual cockpit, which offers many additional functions. There is also an MMI touch display in the middle of the instrument panel. It has a diagonal of 10.1 inches and issues acoustic feedback when a function is selected. Customers can also opt for the 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus. They can select from three different displays in the MMI, including a particularly dynamic layout with red elements. The size of the circular instruments and the infotainment content can be varied by means of the View button on the multifunction steering wheel.
MMI navigation plus in the Audi Q3 Sportback offers the same strengths as in the large Audi models. Its operating concept, with a flat menu structure, is easy to understand; entering a navigation destination and the MMI search are based on free text input. For example, if a driver is looking for a restaurant, they only need to enter a few letters and a list of hits will appear. The control unit uses natural language, which also understands freely chosen wording. This ensures even more convenience. For example, if the driver says “I’m hungry,” it will suggest restaurants in the vicinity.
The navigation system recognizes the driver’s most frequent destinations based on previous journeys, allowing it to generate suitable route suggestions. When doing so, it takes into consideration statistical empirical values regarding the traffic load and time of day. The route is calculated online on the servers of the map and navigation provider HERE, using real-time data for the traffic situation. If the data connection is lost, MMI navigation plus switches to the on-board routing, which is constantly running in parallel.
Comprehensive networking: infotainment and Audi connect Together with MMI navigation plus, the online services of Audi connect are made available on board—at LTE Advanced speed via a permanently installed SIM card, the Audi connect SIM. Services such as traffic information online and the point-of-interest search are an ideal complement to routing. The Q3 Sportback utilizes Car-to-X services, and hence the Audi fleet’s swarm intelligence, to forecast the availability of parking spaces along streets, to provide information on hazardous spots and current speed limits. Traffic light information is a new feature that Audi is adding successively in selected European cities. Through networking with the city’s infrastructure, the vehicle receives information from the central traffic light computer via a server, which allows the driver to select a speed to match the next green-light phase. The instrument cluster displays a customized speed recommendation as well as the remaining time to the next green light whenever the driver is waiting at a red traffic light. The system thereby contributes to a predictive and efficient driving style and facilitates a steady flow of traffic. The Audi connect portfolio also includes a Wi-Fi hotspot for the passengers’ mobile devices. It facilitates download rates of up to 300 Mbit/s.
There is an optional enhancement in the form of the Audi connect navigation & infotainment plus package. It contains, among other things, navigation using Google Earth and the hybrid radio, which automatically switches between FM, DAB and online streaming depending on the reception situation. Voice control is offered here with expanded capabilities: In addition to the on-board database, it also uses detailed knowledge in the cloud to answer the driver’s questions and commands. Online comparison improves the recognition rate and the results, which are supplemented by additional information such as photos, opening hours and ratings. By contrast, the advantage of on-board information is that it is available very quickly and securely—including in underground garages where there is no cell-phone network.
This package also includes the cloud-based Amazon voice service Alexa, which is integrated into the MMI operating system. The driver can use it to place orders and get information on various current events. Alexa streams music and audiobooks and provides access to over 80,000 Alexa Skills. The smart home control allows users to lock doors in the house, adjust the lighting, and close the garage door from within the car.
Many Audi connect functions are bundled in the free myAudi app, which connects the smartphone seamlessly with the car. It can be used, for example, to transfer navigation routes and the Smartphone calendar into the MMI and to stream music. Furthermore, the customer can lock and unlock their Audi Q3 Sportback remotely, consult the current vehicle status, pinpoint where the car is parked, be directed to the car and operate the optional auxiliary heating. These services are part of the Audi connect emergency call & service including remote services package, which is offered as standard with the MMI radio plus. Along with the Audi connect emergency call, it also includes online roadside assist and online service booking.
Attractive hardware modules supplement the infotainment portfolio, including the Audi phone box. It links the owner’s smartphone to the vehicle’s antenna and charges the phone inductively. Voice-over-LTE helps to connect faster and makes it possible to use high-speed data transfer and high-resolution voice telephony at the same time in digital quality. The Audi smartphone interface is available to integrate iOS and Android cell phones into the on-board infotainment system. It establishes the connection to the mobile device and transfers its native environment, Apple Car Play or Android Auto, to the MMI display—this can even be done wirelessly with the iPhone. The Audi smartphone interface also contains two USB ports in the center console. They offer a loading and data function for playing music from a portable media player via the loudspeakers in the car. One of them is compatible with the new type C with fast transfer rates and symmetric connector for easy connection. To charge devices, there are two additional, optional, USB-C ports in the rear. The Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual 3D sound provides special listening pleasure. It activates 15 loudspeakers, four of them in the instrument panel and one in each D-pillar, and thus creates a fascinating spatial sound. A digital radio tuner rounds off the infotainment program.
Outstanding in any situation: the assist systems In the Audi Q3 Sportback, four standard systems are used for safety. Audi pre sense basic initiates preventive safety measures for occupants as soon as it recognizes an unstable driving state. It utilizes information from various vehicle systems to determine this. For instance, it intervenes if the electronic stabilization control (ESC) sensors detect skidding or hard braking. The system then tightens the front seat belts electrically, closes the windows and activates the hazard warning lights in order to alert traffic behind the vehicle. Audi pre sense front is also offered as standard. It detects collision risks in front of the car by means of front radar and also registers pedestrians and cyclists in addition to vehicles. In a critical situation, the system warns the driver optically, acoustically and haptically. In an emergency, it causes full braking and initiates the Audi pre sense basic measures.
Furthermore, lane departure warning helps when stopping in the lane. If the driver has not turned on a turn signal and the car is about to cross a lane marking detected by the front camera, the system assists with corrective steering intervention. The standard scope in Germany also includes the lane change warning, which uses two radar sensors that take measurements to the rear. If the system detects a vehicle located in the blind spot or approaching quickly from the rear, a warning LED is lit in the relevant exterior mirror.
The adaptive cruise assist is a highlight of the optional systems. It incorporates the functions of adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist and active lane assist, including control to the middle of the lane. In this way, it assists the driver with longitudinal and lateral control—substantially enhancing comfort on long journeys in particular.
Ultra-modern systems are also available for parking and maneuvering. The 360 degree cameras show the area immediately around the SUV coupé on the MMI display. Park assist automatically steers the car into and out of parking spaces—the driver only has to accelerated, brake, and select the gear. If drivers want to back out of a perpendicular parking space or an entrance, cross traffic assist supports them. The system monitors the area behind the vehicle using two radar sensors and alerts the driver in critical situations. The assist package brings important systems together—adaptive cruise assist, camera-based traffic sign recognition, parking system plus, high-beam assist and emergency assist.
Available commercially from fall onwards: market introduction and edition model
The Audi Q3 Sportback is manufactured in the Győr plant in Hungary. The initial deliveries will be made in Germany from fall onwards, as well as in other European countries. In addition to the digital instrument cluster, the MMI radio including a Bluetooth connection and the multifunction leather steering wheel, the SUV coupé is also equipped with LED headlights and backseat plus. The length and inclination of the latter can be adjusted. This ensures high variability, as does the height-adjustable loading floor. The Audi pre sense basic and Audi pre sense front safety systems are standard in Germany. The same applies for the lane departure and lane change warning.
For the market introduction, Audi offers the exclusively equipped edition model “edition one” in two versions: in dew silver, metallic with attachments in Manhattan gray by way of contrast, and as full paint finish in mythos black, metallic. In both models, the exterior is based on the S line and the black styling package. Dark decorative panels in the matrix LED headlights and 20-inch wheels from Audi Sport make for an even sportier look. In the interior, the “edition one dew silver” is waiting with the interior design selection and silver color hues. The “edition one mythos black” is based on the interior S line, complemented by blue Alcantara surfaces on the instrument panel and the armrests in the doors.