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Detroit show: Q3’s Winter wonderland

Glitz: The Audi Q3 Vail concept is fitted with a potent turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine.

Audi previews forthcoming compact SUV with glitzy Q3 Vail concept

11 Jan 2012

AUDI has released a one-off high-performance ‘crossover’ concept version of its Q3 compact SUV in Detroit.

Touted as a possible model variant but more likely an options clotheshorse coming up to the Q3’s US belated release in 2013, the glitzy ‘Vail’ makeover (named after a famous Colorado ski resort) to whet American appetites for the vehicle, which has been on sale in Europe since the middle of last year.

Boasting a transverse-mounted 231kW/400Nm variation of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo-petrol engine from the TT RS, this Q3 is capable of hitting 100km/h in 5.5 seconds on the way to a top speed of 262km/h.

All four wheels are driven via a Haldex AWD system and a seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission.

The ‘Energy Red’ paint is new, as are the aluminium and high-gloss black bodywork accoutrements, vertical grille slats and special diffuser-integrated exhaust system, all of which are designed to give the vehicle a more rugged appearance.

Audi has also fitted flared wheelarches and running-boards to showcase the 30mm-higher Vail, while the restyled aluminium roof rails are meant squarely for skis and snowboards. The front roof rail houses wide-angled LED lights to illuminate the area around the vehicle.

Among the numerous options fitted to the show car are 255/45 R20-shod alloy wheels.

Inside is a unique leather and cloth upholstery combination with ultra-thin leather inserts and velvet-finish look, double-seamed piping on the seats, stainless steel inserts around the gear selector, lashings of aluminium on the doors and fascia, and an all-black Nappa leather-sheathed dash panel.

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