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Driven: Sportback adds appeal to Audi Q3
All-new Q3 Sportback small SUV to increase range choice for Audi customers
2 Apr 2020
AUDI has acted on the increasing popularity of coupe-style SUVs with the introduction of the Q3 Sportback, which arrives in local showrooms priced from $49,900 plus on-road costs.
The three-pronged Q3 Sportback line-up matches that of the Q3 wagon launched in November, and represents the first time Audi will have a differently styled body shape in its SUV portfolio.
Speaking to GoAuto, Audi Australia corporate communications manager Shaun Cleary said that in time, the Sportback body style could become as popular for the brand as the regular wagon body.
“We think there’s a good opportunity for it – obviously we know from the Q3 that the size is about right for a lot of people so it’s a popular segment, it’s one that’s been designed for people who potentially have more of an affinity for design rather than outright versatility,” he said.
“We think it’s an opportunity for growth in the segment – offering something a little bit different and allowing people to have options other than the Q3. We see that it is a very popular segment and it is only a strength for us to offer another model like that.
“You would expect (Q3 wagon to be more popular) at this stage, but it wouldn’t surprise us to see a 50:50 split in time because of the fact that people are drawn to the proportions of the Q3 Sportback, but time will tell.”
Audi is launching with three variants – the full-time 35 TFSI and 40 TFSI quattro, as well as a limited Launch Edition grade based on the 35 TFSI.
Pricing kicks off from $49,900 plus on-roads for the 35 TFSI and rises up to $61,990 for the 40 TFSI. The Launch Edition splits the two with a pricetag of $56,450.
Its pricing puts the Sportback $3500 north of the standard Q3 wagon for the 35 TFSI, while the Launch Edition is $3700 dearer in the Sportback.
The 40 TFSI will arrive in showrooms a month after the 35 TFSI – along with the same variant for the Q3 wagon – while the fire-breathing RS Q3 Sportback is set to touch down in the third quarter of the year priced from $92,900 – $3000 above the wagon.
Mr Cleary said the 40 TFSI would likely be the more popular full-time grade due to its quattro all-paw setup, despite being the more expensive offering.
“I think traditionally within our SUV range we’ve seen that the quattro models are what make those models iconic for customers, but I think that is somewhat different in terms of split in the entry-level segment,” he said.
“But I think given that it’s a small premium but a premium model within the Q3 range, you’d expect the quattro to probably be the majority of sales.”
He added that there are no plans to offer other powertrains in the Q3 range once the RS Q3 has arrived.
Underpinning the 35 TFSI is a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder mill developing 110kW at 5000rpm and 250Nm from 1500-3500rpm, driving the front wheels only via a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Completing the sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 9.3 seconds, the 35 TFSI sips 7.3 litres of fuel per 100km while emitting 167 grams of CO2 per km.
Meanwhile, the 40 TFSI steps things up with a 2.0-litre engine good for 132kW from 3900-6000rpm and 320Nm from 1400-3940rpm, with quattro all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch auto.
The extra power helps the 40 TFSI reach triple digits in 7.8s, while sipping 8.3L/100km of fuel and emitting 188g/km of CO2.
Easily differentiated from the regular Q3 by its sloped-back design, the Sportback also features more aggressive design elements with the standard fitment of the S line exterior design package, which includes a honeycomb mesh front grille, more stylish front and rear bumper treatment and 19-inch alloy wheels.
The Sportback measures 6mm narrower with a 29mm shorter roofline than the Q3, while luggage volume is identical at 530 litres, despite the sloping silhouette.
Folding the 40:20:40 split-fold rear seats allows for 1400L of storage, which sacrifices 125L compared to the regular Q3.
The standard S line package also improves dynamics with the inclusion of Audi drive select and speed-sensitive progressive steering.
The entry-level 35 TFSI comes standard with adaptive LED headlights, LED tail-lights with dynamic indicators, an electric tailgate, leather-appointed upholstery with manually adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, illuminated front scuff plates, a 10.1-inch touchscreen MMI navigation plus infotainment system, DAB+ digital audio, a six-speaker audio system, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, four USB ports, wireless phone charging and aluminium interior elements.
Safety kit includes lane-change and lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, hill-descent control and a rearview camera with front and rear parking sensors.
Stepping up to the Launch Edition adds a number of features such as metallic paint, black exterior styling, rear privacy glass, 20-spoke design alloys, adaptive cruise control, surround-view monitor, folding and heated exterior mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated and electric front seats, 10-speaker sound system, colour ambient lighting, and aluminium interior inlays.
Topping the range, the 40 TFSI builds on the spec of the non-Launch Edition 35 TFSI, adding 20-inch alloys, rear privacy glass, adaptive cruise control, surround-view monitor, high-beam assist, park assist, folding and heated exterior mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, S line interior appointments including a sports steering wheel with paddle-shifters, Alcantara interior trim elements, heated and electric front sports seats, 10-speaker sound system and the 12.3-inch virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster.
The Q3 Sportback range will be completed with the arrival of the 294kW/480Nm RS Q3 in the third quarter, which will touch down at the same time as the performance-enhanced RS Q3 wagon.
2020 Audi Q3 Sportback pricing*
*Excludes on-road costs
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