The Audi Q3 family: style, technology and accessibility

The Audi Q3 family: style, technology and accessibility

The Audi Q3 family

In the splendid setting of the Champoluc mountains we had the opportunity to test on the road the novelties of the Audi Q3 family, which today offers a very wide variety of engines, bodies and also of purchase methods: it is no coincidence that Q3 has just confirmed itself as the best seller of the Audi brand - let's find out together everything there is toa> know about the SUV of the German company.

When Audi told us about the Q3, it did so by highlighting the 3 pillars that have contributed most to the success of the model: starting from a muscular and modern design, which Audi customers really like (significantly younger, when it comes to Q3, compared to competing models), passing through a very high-level technological portfolio also thanks to the slow but constant diffusion of high-tech systems coming from the top-of-the-range models of the 4-ring house, and finally accessibility during the purchase phase is reached, an aspect that is guaranteed by to the rich offer of dedicated financial formulas.

As for the outward appearance, the Audi Q3 and Q3 Sportback have no doubts: muscular lines, large air intakes, attractive and robust looking front grilles - all these are elements that characterize the Q3 family , which today is even more embellished thanks to the 'Identity Black' aesthetic package which allows for different elements of the car in glossy black. In all this the Q3 Sportback version is further characterized by a tapered roof that flows into the rear mounted, particularly inclined and completed by the sporty spoiler.

Speaking of technologies that come "cascading" from high-end to slightly more affordable models, almost the entire Audi Q3 range is equipped with Full LED light clusters: starting from the second trim level, in fact , Audi has decided to integrate new Full LED headlights, to ensure maximum illumination at all times, even the darkest or rainy ones. Thanks to LED technology, which can boast an activation time of 2 tenths of a second faster than traditional lamps, the braking distances of those who follow us can be reduced by up to 6 meters.

Compared to the engines used on the previous Q3 models, important steps forward have been made in terms of CO2 emissions, with a reduction of up to 20% thanks to the COD - Cylinder on Demand system which it switches off 2 of the 4 cylinders when moving at low speed; in addition to this, other details have been introduced, such as the plasma coating for the cylinder liners or the additional fuel injection system in the intake manifold, all designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions into the atmosphere.

A story apart for the plug-in hybrid engine, introduced by Audi in 2021 and which today can boast a 1.4-liter TFSI engine capable of producing, when supported by the 85 kW electric motor , a total power of 245 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque. Audi Q3 PHEV is able to travel up to 49 km (WLTP) in purely electric mode thanks to the 13 kWh capacity lithium-ion battery; the homologation cycle speaks of average consumption of 62 km per liter when full current is also available, but this Q3 does not disdain performance either, with a 0-100 covered in 7.3 seconds and a maximum speed of 140 km / h reachable in purely electric mode. The battery is recharged via a 230V home socket and takes about 3.5 hours.

During our test we had the opportunity to test the plug-in hybrid model and we were pleasantly satisfied: aesthetically it is difficult to distinguish Q3 PHEV from classically endothermic models, it is necessary to realize that near the driver's door there is an anomalous flap that hides the charging socket, while once on board only the button that reads 'EV Only' warns us that we are on a 'car able to move even in 100% electric mode. And that's exactly what we did, testing the capabilities of the 85 kW electric motor on the steep mountain roads around Champoluc: the Q3 PHEV performed brilliantly, tackling the curves without hesitation and benefiting from sudden, very rich acceleration. of couple. The additional weight of the 13 kWh battery is not particularly noticeable, and the car maintains the same agility as experienced on regular petrol models.

The highlight, among the versions we have had to test, is undoubtedly the Audi RS Q3: this high-performance SUV is powered by the engine repeatedly awarded as Engine of the Year, the 5-cylinder 2.5 TFSI capable of delivering 400 horsepower and 480 Nm of torque, enough to cover 0-100 in 4.5 seconds and to reach a maximum speed, after unlocking the software, of 280 km / h. The double clutch of the 7-speed S tronic transmission ensures quick and precise shifts, and the Audi Quattro all-wheel drive literally sticks the massive tires (up to 21 inches) of the RS Q3 to the asphalt, supported by RS plus suspension with adaptive adjustment of the trim. The model we tested was equipped with classic steel brake discs, but as an option it is possible to install carbon ceramic discs to further increase braking power. Whirling through the mountain roads around Champoluc in an Audi RS Q3 was extremely rewarding; this car has the ability to make you feel at ease while being very powerful, quite heavy (almost 1800 kg) and full-bodied. The very rich technical and technological sector that Audi has managed to condense into this SUV translates into an incredibly fun car to drive, even on roads where smaller and more agile cars would generally be preferred. Not to mention the sound of the exhausts, which at each acceleration play a rough melody which, however, can also be almost completely reset, as needed, thanks to the various driving modes offered by the car.

As anticipated at the beginning, one of the most important pillars of the success of the Audi Q3 is the ease of purchase, even for a younger clientele with reduced economic possibilities: in addition to the classic purchase through financing, Audi offers a series of rental contracts at very flexible long-term so as to meet the needs of as many customers as possible. 5 duration options, between 24 and 48 months, and 9 annual mileage options, between 10,000 and 50,000 km per year in 5000 km increments, but the real flexibility comes from the fact that the customer has the freedom to change his thresholds based on new life requirements.

To give a concrete example, a monthly fee of 519 euros allows you to take home a 150 horsepower Audi Q3 Sportback 2.0 TDI S tronic with 'S line' set-up with thresholds 36 months and 45,000 km per year, but during the entire duration of the contract it is possible to reduce to 24 months and 20,000 km per year or up to 48 months with 200,000 km per year.

For whom instead it still prefers the classic purchase formulas, Audi Q3 starts at 36,700 euros, to which you have to add 3,250 euros if you prefer the Sportback version with coupé design at the rear. The Audi Q3 PHEV model, the one with the plug-in hybrid engine, starts at 48,000 euros. Finally, for the most demanding and sporty, the RS Q3 version starts at 72,200 euros.

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