Just like the way the baby Bimmer brought in an all new segment into India comprising of mini SUVs, there is a new one waiting for it. However, the newer one would also have to update itself to the high standards set by the BMW X1. Yes, it’s the Audi Q3, the supposed competitor to the BMW X1 in India. Moreover, now even Mercedes are thinking of bringing in their smallest SUV to the Indian shores and what more, it would be made in India as well to compete the cool sticker price of the BMW X1. Needless to say, since its launch, the BMW X1 has kept the show room staff very busy. So much so that the some of the BMW show rooms don’t keep the X1 as a demo vehicle stating that they don’t have the vehicle allotment until the next 6 months and hence it is better that they don’t have a display car as well. Sounds fair enough. Would the 2012 Audi Q3 in India be able to demolish the hold that the X1 has over it or would it just slide into oblivion? We cannot answer that right now but we can definitely give you a dose of what is to come into India very soon. Yes, a preview of the 2012 Audi Q3 in India.
While the BMW X1 has been widely criticized for its estate car looks, the Audi would be blamed for its Q5 like looks. Infact, many would confuse the Q3 with the Q5 and the Q5 with the Q7. All in the name of family you see. The head lamps are more of the shape of the new VW Passat’s headlamps. Yes, they are more sharper and sleeker to look at. The Audi goatee grille has been retained and so has the wider slat of the airdams. Moreover, Audi would be offering fog lamps on the Q3. The tyres would supposedly be of the 18 inch types with lower variants receiving 17 inch tyres. Viewed from front, there would be little distinguishing the new Audi Q3 from its siblings or even the Mitsubishi Outlander at a glance. From the rear, the car looks very much American in its approach and also sometimes European, with the twin tail pipes playing truant here.
Typical Audi interiors with no signs of cost cutting visible anywhere is what the first impressions from the pictures that we could gather. Like in the X1, everything here seems to be tilted towards the driver and this shows a keen focus on a driver centric cabin. Unlike BMW, Audi would be fitting in the Q3 with all the gizmos from the base variant itself. This would mean a better bang for the buck plus more of snob value. The steering wheel would be the typical one used in other Audi cars. The quality of materials used would be in typical Audi fashion and all would be soft touch. From what we hear from our sources, there would be a dearth of cubby holes in the cabin and would mostly have to stick with carrying essentials in the glovebox of this SUV. The Multimedia Interface or MMI would have a 60 GB hard drive memory to it and plus it would also feature the latest maps along with a navigation system from SatNav. This car would be a tad more spacious than the BMW X1, however at the rear, it would be quite a tight fit for 6 footers. Boot space would hover around the 500 liters mark with the added convenience of split last row seats. Audi are also planning to throw in jumper seats as an added option for the third row.
Audi are putting in All wheel drive or their famed Quattro system even into the base model of the 2012 Audi Q3. This means that there would be chances of the Q3 doing some off-roading, which given the conditions of the Indian roads, is an everyday thing. Adaptive dampers would be another thing which would actually help with the ride quality. The X1, we all know comes with stiff dampers and this would limit the suspension travel making it a bit uncomfortable for the backside. Adding to this fact is that Audi is offering the Drive Select mode. Pressing Dynamic on the setting module results in adding weight to the car’s steering system and also brings in more stability and body control for higher speed bursts. More often than not, the Indian Q3 buying customers would prefer the Comfort mode. There may even be a front wheel driven Audi Q3 later on depending on conditions and the market response.
As for the engine options, Audi would be using their existing engine lineups just like the way the Bavarian did. A 2.0 liter TFSI would be made available which would have a peak output of 211 Bhp of power. Audi claims 0-100 kmph timing of 7 seconds while the 2.0 liter TDI motor would punch in 176 Bhp of power and 380 Nm of torque. The 0-100 kmph timing for this one would be somewhere close to 8 seconds. Both the motors are free revving units and if at all, the diesel one seems slightly laborious. It also is said to make lots of noise when on the move. The 7 speed DSG box and the 6 speed manual are said to be in typical Audi fashion – smooth. With the DSG, there would also be paddle shifts on offer and this would be a good thing for the enthusiasts. As many as 6 airbags can be counted in even on the lower variants while the top end ones would come with reverse camera and stuff. Well, all this information has been detailed up from sources at Audi as also other international contacts. But then the specification with which the Q3 would be launched in India would only be revealed once the car makes its debut here.
As for the fuel efficiency, the diesel would be one up on the one from the X1. It would be significantly more fuel efficient as also fun to drive. As for the petrol engined one, it would also be fuel efficient and more than the X1. In India, after all, fuel efficiency is the one thing which matters the most. Be it a Nano owner or even a Phantom one. This SUV is slated for a launch anytime in 2012. The 2012 Audi Q3 price in India would be around Rs 24 lakhs. That is the asking amount. Talks are on that they would manufacture it here and hence the low cost of things and stuff. Watch this space for more information on the 2012 Audi Q3 as and when it is launched in India.