The Audi Q3 is among the last models in the four-ringed brand’s lineup awaiting electrification. As it gears up for a complete overhaul to enter its third generation — paralleling the upscale counterpart of the VW Tiguan — the Q3 is set to embrace electrified powertrains. Here’s what we know about the next-gen Audi Q3 so far:
The Audi Q3 gained a more expressive design when it transitioned to its second generation in 2018. For the third generation, it will adopt a more fierce look, achieved with a visibly more aggressive front fascia. Spy media has shown a new octagonal Singleframe grille that appears to be shorter and emphasizes the SUV’s width. The new radiator grille has vertical inserts, and the intake covering the lower air intake has a honeycomb pattern, which if you ask us, brings sophistication to front.
The biggest change on the next-gen Audi Q3 will be split headlights, consisting of a slim, wedge-shaped DRL unit on the top and a mid-section unit consisting of low- and high-beam lights. Needless to say, the DRLs will double as turn signals. We are inclined to believe that the new front-end will make the third-gen Q3 look more aggressive than any past iteration of the Q3.
If you ask us, the side profile of the next-gen Q3 looks more aerodynamic. Spy images suggest that its roofline has a steeper curvature and slopes down to a lower level at the back. The company isn’t going all in on the aero front, though, employing regular door handles instead of flush-fitted units. At the rear, we expect the redesigned Q3 to feature new tail lamps.
We think the next-gen Audi Q3 will ride on the MQB evo platform, which, as stated on Volkswagen Belgium’s press portal, is the “final evolutionary phase of the modular MQB platform.” It could be offered with 1.5-liter turbocharged gas engine-based mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Starting with the mild-hybrid powertrain, the 1.5-liter engine could work with a 48-volt belt-driven starter generator. We expect the engine to produce 150 kW and 250 Nm of torque and the belt-driven starter generator to assist it with an electric boost with 15 kW of additional power and 25 Nm of additional torque. The latter may recover the energy generated during braking or deceleration and store it in an additional, 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack. The engine could be linked to a 7-speed DCT.
We expect the mild-hybrid powertrain to have an improved cylinder-on-demand (COD) system in which the switching on and off of the second and third cylinders has been optimized to make the changeovers almost imperceptible.
Volkswagen Group has developed two new plug-in hybrid powertrains. The base powertrain uses a 110 kW engine with a ‘HEM80evo’ electric motor integrated into a 6-speed ‘DQ400e evo’ DCT. The electric motor alone generates 85 kW of power and 330 Nm of torque. It produces 150 kW of system power and 350 Nm of system torque.
The flagship version upgrades to a 130 kW engine, leading to 200 kW of system power and 400 Nm of system torque.
The HEM80evo electric motor will likely save and obtain energy from a liquid-cooled 19.7 kWh battery pack placed in front of the rear axle. Thanks to the larger battery, the Q3 plug-in hybrid could do up to 100 km (62 miles) in the WLTP cycle in EV mode.
The 19.7 kWh battery pack may support charging at up to 11 kW at AC charging stations and up to 50 kW at DC charging stations. Topping it up from a fully discharged state to full capacity at an AC charging station may take approximately two hours. At a DC charging station, a 10-80% charging session may take just about 25 minutes.
Price & Release date
We expect the next-gen Audi Q3 to break cover in the first half of next year, and arrive at U.S. dealerships in Q3 2024 (July-September 2023). Prices will likely start at just under USD 40,000.
The next-gen Audi Q3 will be the biggest update to date for the German automaker’s compact SUV. We think it will feature a striking new design and a classier and more comfortable interior and be available with several electrified powertrains that provide a more refined driving experience. For Audi customers not ready to make the EV switch and pick keys to the Q4 e-tron yet, the next-gen Q3 Hybrid will likely be the best option.
Next-gen Audi Q3 FAQs
What is the next-gen Audi Q3 release date?
The next-gen Audi Q3 will likely be launched in the U.S. in the second half of 2024.
Which models will be next-gen Audi Q3 rivals?
The next-gen Audi Q3 will rival the Mercedes GLA, Lexus NX, and BMW X1.
What will be the next-gen Audi Q3 price?
The next-gen Audi Q3’s prices will likely start at just under USD 40,000.
Featured Image Source: Volkswagen Group