Audi has whipped the covers off its new Q3 Sportback, handing its compact crossover the in-vogue coupé-style treatment.

The Ingolstadt-based firm claims the new model combines the “strong presence and versatile everyday convenience” of an SUV with the “sporty elegance and agile handling of a coupé”. Sort of like a baby Q8, if you will.

Interestingly, the standard Q3 is almost 30 mm taller than this new so-called SUV-coupé. For the record, the Q3 Sportback measures about 4 500 mm long, 1 840 mm wide and 1 560 mm tall, with a wheelbase of 2 680 mm. Despite the sloping roofline, Audi says the rear bench offers “space for three people”.

Said rear bench can slide up to 130 mm longitudinally, with the backrests divided into three sections (and their inclination adjustable in seven stages). The claimed luggage capacity ranges from 530 litres to 1 400 litres, while the loading floor can be adjusted to two levels.

The new Audi Q3 Sportback will ship standard with progressive steering and the German company’s firmer sport suspension. The latter will be offered in conjunction with optional damper control, with also adds an "offroad mode". Hill descent control will furthremore be available as an option.

At launch in Europe, Audi will offer the choice of a single petrol and a single diesel engine. The familiar 2,0 TFSI unit offering a GTI-flavoured 169 kW will be the most powerful engine available in the Q3 Sportback (badged as the 45 TFSI quattro S tronic), while the 35 TDI S tronic will employ the firm’s 110 kW 2,0 turbodiesel mill.

Audi says additional engines will follow "in the course of the year", including a more powerful diesel and an entry-level petrol powerplant, the latter employing a 48 V mild-hybrid system. The aforementioned diesel will also be available with a manual transmission and all-wheel drive.

Inside, a 10,25-inch digital instrument cluster will ship standard, while models specified with the MMI navigation plus arrangement will gain the full 12,3-inch Audi virtual cockpit system. A touchscreen measuring 10,1 inches is positioned in the centre of the facia.

[UPDATE: Audi South Africa says it plans to launch the new Q3 Sportback locally in the first quarter of 2020...]