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Audi Q3 (2013)

CAR GARAGE | Audi Q3 (2013) | The base-tune makes 170 horsepower gas engine, its diesel counterpart 140. Both are sold only with front-wheel drive and a 6-speed manual transmission. Buyers preferring Audi's quattro all-wheel drive can choose from a 211-horsepower turbo-gas engine or a 177-horse turbo diesel mated to Audi's S-tronic 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual That can be set to shift like a conventional automatic. Incidentally, the Q3's S-tronic transmission features an interesting fuel-saver that's probably destined for other Audi's (and Certain VWS). Sold only as a 5-passenger 4-door hatchback, the 2013 Audi Q3 would be smaller than any other premium-compact SUV on the American market except the Mini Countryman. Against the Q5, it stands 9.6 inches shorter, 2.7 inches narrower and nearly 2 inches lower on an 8.1-inch wheelbase trimmer.

Interestingly, the Q3 architecture blends elements from two older VW Group platforms. As development coordinator Thomas Soppa of toll Car and Driver, "We have taken the most Suitable components from the parts bin, and its architecture is Basically a mix of the PQ46 and PQ35 platforms. "C / D That also notes the Q3's electronic systems are shared with the A3, while the front sub frame and suspension are lifted from Audi's TT premium-sporty/performance car.  Chassis-wise, the 2013 Audi Q3 is predictably much like second-cousin VW Tiguan. That means a 4-wheel independent suspension with front struts, rear four-link geometry, and fixed-rate shock absorbers; adaptive shocks are available as part of Audi's optional Driver Select chassis-control system.

The steering uses electromechanical power assist, while brakes are the expected 4-wheel discs with ABS and antiskid system integrated with Audi's ESP traction control. Wheel sizes range from 16 in Europe to 19 inches, but we'd guess the U.S. models will have standard 17s and offer the larger rims in one or more of Audi's S-line trim Inevitable and equipment packages. Speaking of options, the 2013 Audi Q3 should offer most features available Euro-market in line with its billing as a "premium compact SUV in the form." Standard features not already Mentioned include automatic climate control (with a dual-zone setup optional), power windows, door locks, and heated mirrors; split-fold rear seat; and roof rails.

The 2013 Audi Q3 has earned good notices early in Europe for its city-friendly size, fun-to-drive factor, high refinement, appealing performance / fuel-economy balance, and Audi's top-notch workmanship. Porsche's Cayenne Hybrid offers premium-midsize SUV Such a setup. So does the 2013 Audi Q3 when equipped with the S-tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission and Drive Select. The latter still offers Comfort, Dynamic, and Automatic settings That alters steering, throttle, and shift responses to suit different driving styles, but the Q3 system adds an "Efficiency" That furnishes freewheeling mode - "sailing," as Porsche calls it- -on lifting off the accelerator. The vehicle maintains speed - as if on cruise control - until the driver gets back on the throttle or Cancels Efficiency mode.

One other "notable feature" is the prospect of a high-performance RS Q3. As recently reported Car and Driver, Audi is developing Such a model of around the 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine powers the TT RS That sporty / performance car, complete with its associated 7-speed S-tronic transmission and quattro AWD. Stay tuned. The one major drawback Q3's - other than price, maybe - is less passenger and cargo space than many buyers expect of SUVs, even smaller ones.

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