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Hot compact crossover on Audi’s cards?

by CAR magazine on 30/06/2011

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Although Audi only revealed its Q3 compact crossover/SUV at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show, reports are already circulating that this model could well spawn a performance-orientated spin-off…

Based on the architecture of Volkswagen’s Tiguan and initially offered with a choice of three moderately powerful engines (two petrols and a diesel with power outputs ranging from 103 kW to 155 kW), the standard Q3 will take the battle to BMW’s X1. But German sources have now indicated that it could also be the next vessel for the turbocharged 2,5-litre powerplant currently doing service in some of the company’s RS-badged offerings.

This has most recently featured in the RS3 Sportback, but has also put forth impressive performances in such models as the TT-RS, Volkswagen’s Golf24 and the A1 Clubsport Quattro concept. The engine is a very versatile and highly tuneable unit that develops 250 kW in the TT-RS and more than 373 kW in the A1 Clubsport Quattro concept. Initial reports suggest that the unit will be detuned to around 224 kW for its application in the hot Q3.

The news arrives only weeks after the Q3 production commenced at Seat’s Martorell plant in Spain, and while Audi has yet to confirm the model, sources inside Germany expect it to hit the market sometime next year. The confirmed Q3 models are expected to hit the local market by the beginning of 2012.