In the last few months, Audi has given mid-life upgrades to the A6 and A7 range in international markets. While these refreshments do come up with a few functional updates, they can be safely termed as cosmetic upgrades only. Which is a fair and reasonable move on Audi’s part since why do they need to fix something if it is not broken?
In line with the refreshments given to the sedan range, Audi has now revealed the new face-lifted versions of one of the most accomplished SUVs in its line-up, the Q3. Slated to be launched in Europe early in 2015, the new Q3 will be available in standard and a more powerful RS Q3 version. Since Q3 does well in terms of volumes in India, expect Audi to launch it here without much delay.
On aesthetics front, the 2015 Q3’s front fascia features a more bolder look as its new ‘Singleframe’ grille with chrome bezels neatly merges to the headlamp on either side. The headlamp assembly receives the new Xenon Plus technology for the front headlights as standard, which is complemented by Audi’s signature LED daytime running lights. Discerning onlookers will also notice revisions in the front bumper design as compared to the older model. Audi will also be offering dynamic turn indictors (an array of LED bulbs that replace the conventional indictor bulbs and light up sequentially at a fixed time-gap) as an optional extra on the new Q3.
Moving on to the side profile, the new model has a similar silhouette as of the current car, however, the addition of a set of new tasteful alloy wheels give it a refreshed look. Similarly at the rear, the profile remains largely unchanged apart from a redesigned bumper and a pair of new LED tail-lamps. The sportier RS Q3, in addition to the listed updates, gets silver garnishing on front air dams and ORVMs; bigger 19- or 20-inch wheels, larger disc brakes, ‘quattro’ badge on the front grille and a single large exhaust pipe at the rear.
Step inside the new Q3 and you are treated with Audi’s usual high-quality cabin, which now comes with an updated MMI and infotainment system, Audi Drive Select system, new power adjustable front seats and different LED ambient lighting for the cabin. The RS Q3 on the other hand has identical cabin layout, although, you get a flat-bottomed steering wheel, ‘RS’ badges, sporty aluminium foot pedals and all black trim for the interiors that exude the sporty ‘RS’ roots of the brand.
Powertrain options include three petrol and two diesel engines. For international markets, at the lower end there will be a new 150PS producing 1.4 TFSI petrol engine on offer. This version will only be front wheel drive. Next in line is the old car’s 2.0 litre TFSI engine with power output rated at 180PS- a 10PS hike over the current model. The most powerful 2.5 TFSI in the RS Q3 is still the same as before, although, it sees a 30PS power upgrade in the new version and develops 340PS. The diesel range comes with a 2.0 litre engine in two different states of tune- 150PS and 184PS.
Owners can choose between an automatic S-tronic transmission or a manual transmission on the new Q3 versions. Drive Select will be standard on all of the versions though.
On safety aspect, in addition to the existing features, the new Q3 and RS Q3 will come equipped with Blind Spot Alert, Secondary Collision Brake Assist and Lane Departure Warning.
In India, the new Audi Q3 is likely to be offered in the second half of 2015. Expect the 2.0 litre diesel engine to be the only engine on offer in the new Q3 here since demand for premium petrol powered luxury SUVs is low in our country. The RS Q3 may not get launched here for the same reason, but given the fact Mercedes has brought the GLA 45 AMG in India recently, Audi may want to pitch in and fight to claim the title for the best performance compact-SUV in India.
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