The Audi Q7 has only just been launched in the United States, and the mid-size Q5 is due in 2008. And now Audi is planning a third, smaller crossover model to be called the Q3.
Due in late 2010, the Q3 will share components with the impending Volkswagen compact SUV (previewed as the Concept A). To keep the two from butting heads in the marketplace, the Q3--at least initially--will be a two-door; the VW is a four-door. If Audi were to add a four-door, it would appear at least eighteen months after the VW, and it would feature a lower roofline and a longer, more steeply raked rear end.
The Q3 almost certainly will be built alongside the VW in Wolfsburg, Germany, since it uses so many parts from the Golf. That means a transversely mounted engine, a dual-clutch automatic, and a choice of front- or four-wheel drive.
The anticipated engine lineup will star two turbo fours: a 170-hp, 1.8-liter version and a 200-hp, 2.0-liter version. Both will utilize direct fuel injection. Diesels will include a new 2.0-liter common-rail TDI that will come in 136-hp and 170-hp strengths, plus a 225-hp, 3.0-liter TDI VR6.
The most interesting variant is the high-performance Q3S, which would sport wheel-arch extensions modeled after the original Coupe Quattro and boast 280 hp, either from an uprated 2.0-liter turbo four or a normally aspirated 3.6-liter VR6.