As the wettest summer on record continues to reinforce the arguments in favour of quattro all-wheel-drive, Audi has just launched its 250th model equipped with this invaluable all-weather traction aid – a new ‘entry level’ version of the sought-after Q3 compact SUV.
The new Q3 2.0 TDI quattro 140PS is now available to order priced from £26,510 OTR, and is expected to account for up to 40 per cent of total Q3 sales.
The new model channels the 140PS and 320Nm of torque delivered by its 2.0-litre direct injection diesel engine through a six-speed manual gearbox to the rapid-reacting quattro system. Optimised by engine start-stop and recuperation technology, the highly efficient unit can return up to 49.6mpg according to the combined cycle test, equating to CO2 output of 149g/km. Equally importantly, it can take the Q3 to 62mph from rest in 9.9 seconds and push on to a 122mph top speed where conditions allow.
As usual, SE and S line specification levels are available, the former including 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, a Concert audio system with 6.5-inch manually retractable colour display screen, preparation for SD card navigation, Bluetooth interface, Audi Music Interface iPod connection and light and rain sensors.
For a premium of £2,750 S line specification adds larger 18-inch alloy wheels, S line exterior and interior styling enhancements, xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lamps and LED rear tail lights.
Options include ‘steerable beam’ adaptive light technology for the xenon plus headlights, a high-beam assistant to intelligently illuminate the road ahead, the hard drive-based navigation system plus with seven-inch colour screen and 3D mapping and the side assist blind spot warning and lane assist lane departure warning driver aids.
Inside the deceptively roomy Q3 there is seating for up to five adults, and an accommodating load bay offering up to 1,365 litres of capacity thanks to split/folding rear seats.
The Q3 is the most compact member of the Audi Q Series, which also includes the recently launched new generation Q5 and the seven-seat Q7 luxury SUV with its adaptive air suspension. If more car-like proportions are preferable, but a measure of extra agility is also needed, Audi can also offer rugged allroad quattro versions of the A4 and the A6. The reassurance of quattro all-wheel-drive can, however, be enjoyed across virtually the entire breadth of the Audi range, from the A3 hatchback through to the R8 super car. On average, quattro drive is the choice of around 30 per cent of Audi customers every year.