Audi South Africa has launched a compact SUV in coupé shape to its model range: the Audi Q3 Sportback. The new model combines the strong presence and 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. The all-new Q3 Sportback enters the Q3 model range as the halo and design vehicle, emphasising a sporty, practical and elegant positioning in the A-CUV segment of the premium passenger car market.
Low roofline and a muscular body: the design
The Audi Q3 Sportback is a car for customers who appreciate a sporty character as much as an expressive design. The compact SUV coupé stands for strength and precision to an equal degree, and reflects this in all design details. The black grille of the octagonal Singleframe is strongly three-dimensional in design, and this makes it particularly sporty. The same applies for the trapezoidal air inlets and the expressive bumper with its flat blade. The coupé-like passenger cabin acts as a contrast to the distinctive attachments, which are painted in contrasting silver and thus emphasize the SUV character. The low roofline gives way to flat D-pillars and ends in a roof edge spoiler. As a result, the Audi Q3 Sportback appears much longer than its sister model Q3. In addition, the SUV-coupé is almost three centimetres flatter and thus has a sportier appearance.
Above the wheels, strong contours hint at the quattro drive, which is available on the Q3 Sportback 40 TFSI model. The rear with its sporty bumper is every bit as powerful as the front of the Audi Q3 Sportback and many light and shadow effects arise on its structure. The low window, flanked by aero trims, and the sporty bumper, which takes up the look of the air inlets, emphasize the width of the Audi Q3 Sportback. The reversing lights contribute to this as well: They run inwards in a tapered shape, just like the flat headlights. Audi supplies lighting options in two versions on this model. LED headlights and rear lights are standard on the vehicle with an option to upgrade to Matrix LED technology, whose adaptive high beam intelligently illuminates the road as best suits the driving situation.
A total of ten exterior colours are available for the Audi Q3 Sportback, including the new metallic paint colour called Dew Silver, exclusive to the Q3 Sportback. Audi S line exterior trimmings are standard across the range, this includes prominent aluminium elements around the grille, bumper and air inlets. The standard wheel size is 18 inch with an option to upgrade to a larger 19 inch for a further advanced look. Audi also offers the optional Black Styling Package which ensures an even more dynamic appearance as it makes the body appear even sportier thanks to the inclusion of dark surfaces on the bumpers. It also emphasizes the Singleframe, the rear diffuser and the trim strips on the side windows in gloss black.
Sporty on and off the road: the suspension
The Audi Q3 Sportback offers driving fun on various terrains. In the urban city, on long-haul road trips, or on easy off-road terrain – the compact crossover is a dynamic all-around performer. It features progressive steering as standard, whose gear ratio becomes increasingly direct as the steering angle increases, along with the sport suspension (also standard) coming into play. Depending on the driving situation, road condition and personal preferences, the driver can vary the car’s characteristics via the standard dynamic handling system, Audi drive select. In six profiles, from markedly comfortable, highly efficient through to sporty and off-road mode.
TFSI engines, S tronic, quattro: the drive
For the Audi Q3 Sportback, two petrol engines are available on offer in South Africa. These two engine options are also offered across the Audi Q3 model range.
The 1.4 TFSI in the Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI delivers 110 kW and 250 Nm of torque from a four-cylinder direct injection unit with turbocharging. It uses a six speed S tronic transmission and produces a 0-100 km claim of 9.3 seconds.
The Q3 Sportback 40 TFSI quattro S line is fitted with a 2.0 TFSI engine producing 132 kW, 320 Nm of torque and a seven speed S tronic transmission which allows it to sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds. This engine is an additional offering within the Q3 model range since its launch in August 2019. In this model, the quattro all-wheel drive takes on the job of force transmission as standard and thereby makes for a more dynamic and stable drive.
Variable comfort: Interior and space concept
The Audi Q3 Sportback is one of the most spacious models in its segment. The dimensions emphasize its sporty character: It is 4,500 mm long, 1,556 mm tall (without roof antenna), and 1,843 mm wide. This makes the SUV coupé 16 mm longer, 29 mm flatter, and 6 mm thinner than the Audi Q3. The wheelbase is exactly 2,680 mm in both models and forms the basis for a generous space offering.
The sporty design of the exterior is continued in the interior of the Audi Q3 Sportback. The accentuated horizontal lines make the interior appear spacious and roomy. The robust design-look of the door panels reflects the strong character of the SUV coupé. The Audi Q3 Sportback 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 rear seats offer space for three people. They can be moved 130 mm longitudinally as standard; their backrests are divided into three sections, and their inclination can be adjusted in seven stages. The volume of the luggage compartment ranges from 530 l to 1,400 l. The loading floor can be adjusted to two levels, and the rear shelf is located beneath it. The storage and luggage compartment package is a further available option. It includes nets on the backs of the front seats, a compartment under the front passenger seat, a luggage compartment net, and LED spotlights in the tailgate.
As part of the optionally selected Comfort Package, Audi will deliver an electric tailgate that can also be opened and closed with a foot motion. Included in this package, the front seats – electrically adjustable and heated – offer a sporty position and a high level of comfort. Depending on the equipment, there are sport seats with contrasting stitching and coloured stripes (orange or grey steel are options for colour choices) along the side panels. The seat upholstery is available in a combination of leather and leatherette as standard. Optionally available is also Alcantara upholstery. In addition, Alcantara surfaces on the instrument panel and the armrests emphasize the progressive design philosophy. In the interior S line package, the seat backrests feature the embossed S logo, and the sport leather steering wheel bears a corresponding emblem. The pedal caps and footrest are made of stainless steel. Inlays in dark aluminium and door sill trims with illuminated aluminium inlays emphasize the sporty look.
In the dark, two lighting packages highlight specific areas of the interior – the ambient lighting package (standard) and the multi-colour contour/ambient lighting package (optional extra). With the indirectly, extensively radiated ambient lighting, door panels and centre tunnels look as if they are floating, whereas the focused contour lighting traces the concise design lines of the interior. The top-of-the-range version can be adjusted in 30 colours, and also backlights the quattro logo on the passenger side of the dashboard as well as the Audi rings in front-wheel-drive models.
A further attractive optional piece of equipment includes the two-piece panoramic glass sunroof when added to the vehicle, creates an advanced sportier appearance. The standard two-zone deluxe automatic air conditioning offers separate temperature distribution for the driver and front-passenger sides and for the rear.
Digital world: Displays and operation
The control and display concept of the Audi Q3 Sportback is progressive, logical and easy to understand. It also shows how Audi is pushing ahead with the digitalization of its new models: A digital instrument cluster (digital cockpit) with an 8.8-inch screen diagonal, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, comes with the integrated MMI touch radio plus as standard. Customers have the option of replacing the digital instrument cluster with the Audi virtual cockpit, which allows them to switch between many information levels and multiple views. In the top-of-the-line system which part of the Technology Package, the Audi virtual cockpit plus comes with a 12.3-inch screen diagonal along with MMI Navigation Plus. The driver can select from three different displays in the MMI, including a particularly dynamic layout with red graphics 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. When a function is selected on the touch display, it emits acoustic feedback. Just like in the brand’s full-size class models, it is surrounded by wide, high-gloss black trim. Together with the air-conditioning control unit located beneath it, the display is ergonomically tilted 10° towards the driver.
The flat menu structure is complemented by a control unit that uses natural language and can also understand free-form communication. Entering a navigation destination and the MMI search are based on free-form text input.
The standard Audi smartphone interface ensures interconnectivity between the car and smartphone. This integrates Android and iOS cell phones into the on-board infotainment system. The content of the smartphone is shown on the MMI display via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and no cables are required if the top infotainment system (MMI navigation plus) is used with an iPhone. The optional Audi phone box and the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System with virtual 3D sound complete this comprehensive offer.
Outstanding in any situation: the assist systems
In the Audi Q3 Sportback, a few systems are used for safety. These include the lane departure warning and the lane change warning. While the former helps the driver to remain in the lane, the latter points out critical situations when changing lanes, such as if there is a vehicle in the blind spot. The Audi pre sense basic system outputs a visual, acoustic and haptic warning to the driver in the case of a collision. In an emergency, it causes full braking and initiates the Audi pre sense basic safety measures.
Ultra-modern optional extra systems such as the 360 degree cameras offer assistance with parking and maneuvering. They show the direct surroundings of the SUV coupé on the MMI display, and the driver can choose from several perspectives. The park assist automatically guides the car into and out of parking spaces. If, for example, the driver wants to back out of an entrance, the rear cross traffic assist warns about approaching vehicles that the system classifies as critical. Rear parking aid is available as a standard feature on this model. Audi also offers the Parking package which bundles a few optional parking features together, this includes park assist, 360 degree cameras and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors which can be folded, heated and auto-dimmed.
Local packages: offering simplicity
The Audi Q3 Sportback will offer the package concept as introduced on other new models launched in South Africa. The concept aims to reduce complexity when ordering a new vehicle, considering that a customer is generally faced with a long list of options to choose from. It classifies key options according to a specific customer need and offers a straight-forward value proposition that is easy for a customer to understand. These packages have been defined by a combination of customer preferences as well as strategic options which aim to highlight Audi’s uniqueness or technology enhancements.
The packages include:
Within each package structure is a few options suited to the particular proposition. Please visit the Audi website to find out more.
Market introduction and pricing
The Audi Q3 Sportback is produced at Audi’s Hungarian plant in Győr. The vehicle is now currently available for sale at all Audi Dealerships in South Africa.
The model range is priced as follows:
Both models come standard with the 5 year / 100 000km Audi Freeway plan, inclusive of all taxes.