The updated SUV will be larger and lighter than its predecessor
Audi introduced the Q3 back in 2011 and since then the SUV has not received any major update, making it the oldest SUV in the German carmaker’s portfolio. However, this is going to change pretty soon as a production-ready prototype of the second-generation Q3 was recently spotted testing.
The test mule had no camouflage, thus revealing the exterior details of the upcoming SUV. At the front, the octagonal grille and the design of the bumper appear to be inspired from the recently revealed Audi Q8. The Q5 and Q7 still get the hexagonal grille. The headlamps, which get a sharp kink on the 2019 Q3, seem to have been inspired from the current-gen A3 and A4 sedans. It’s the first instance that an Audi SUV has received these design elements in its headlamps.
The changes at the back are easily noticeable. The new Q3 looks more grown up than before with the addition of dual-trapezoidal exhaust tips and a sharp character line on the boot. The exhaust tips could be faux ones though, like we have seen on the new Q5, while the real exhausts are tucked under the bumper. The tail lamps now flow into the side fenders, unlike the current model, where they are housed entirely on the tailgate.
When seen from the sides, the new Q3 appears to be longer than its predecessor. It now features a flowing shoulder line and a beefier C-pillar, complementing the aggressive styling of the SUV.
The second-gen Q3 will also get new underpinnings as it will switch to VW Group’s MQB platform (Modular Transverse Matrix), which it will share with other Volkswagen group cars like the Volkswagen Tiguan, Volkswagen Passat, T-Roc, Skoda Kodiaq and Skoda Superb. The MQB platform is lighter than the outgoing Q3's older PQ35 platform and should result in a lower overall weight than the current version. Expect the Q3 to be available with an array of petrol and diesel engines with both manual and automatic transmissions.
There is no official confirmation about the launch of the second-gen Q3 yet. However, we expect it to debut by early 2019. Its arch rivals, the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the BMW X1, are also expected to get an update soon. While the GLA will get a generation change, the X1 will receive a midlife facelift.
We expect competition in the luxury compact SUV segment in India to heat up by the end of next year, when the XC40 will most likely go into local assembly and its rivals - the Q3, GLA and X1 - will receive the respective updates.
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