The Audi Q3 has arrived in the U.S. to capitalize on the small luxury crossover market, but in the rest of the world, the Audi Q3 has been around since 2011. Globally, Audi has unveiled a mid-cycle update for the Q3 and RS Q3, while the U.S. sticks with the pre-update as its launch model.
The facelifted Audi Q3 and RS Q3 hits dealer lots around the world in February of 2015, and expect the facelift to reach our shores as a 2016 model, or possibly even later. Abroad, the Audi Q3 is offered with a much wider range of power train options, including three TFSI gasoline engines and three TDI engines. Here, buyers may only choose the 2.0-liter TFSI rated at 200-horsepower, and 207 pound-feet of torque for the compact luxury crossover.
Audi says the Q3 has also undergone chassis tweaks as well, improving the ride and comfort of the vehicle. The Audi Q3 also receives the drive select feature, allowing the driver to adjust their preference in steering speed, damping, and throttle control. New driver assist features available for the Audi Q3 include lane keeping, hill assist and traffic sign recognition.
Across the pond, the engine lineup displaces either 1.4 or 2.0-liters and include standard turbocharging and cylinder deactivation. Power for among the engines ranges from 120-horsepower to 220-horsepower, and can be paired with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch gearbox. Due to America’s distaste of rowing your own, don’t expect the manual to ever reach its way over here for the Audi Q3.
Speaking of things Americans can’t have, the jury is out on whether the Audi RS Q3 will make its way to local roads. The RS Q3 sticks with its 2.5-liter turbocharged four cylinder, sending 340-horsepower, a gain of 30 hp from the previous model, to standard Quattro all-wheel drive. The performance crossover will scoot its way to 62 mph in 4.8-seconds. Standard features now include 19-inch sport wheels, an adjustable exhaust system and extra large brakes with eight piston calipers up front.
Inside, buyers are treated to sporty bucket seats finished in Nappa leather with diamond quilting. The driver information system is custom to the RS model, offering an RS specific menu folder, containing the capabilities to for lap times, and displays oil and boost pressure. If Cadillac could sell a supercharged V8 wagon in the US, surely Audi could find a few niche people to sell the RS Q3 to with a proper six-speed.
Audi has not confirmed when the Audi Q3 will reach the U.S., but expect the sharper styled compact luxo-crossover to find its way here before the end of 2015.