By Khulekani Dumisa
Audi SA has expanded its SUV range by adding the new Audi Q3 Sportback to the line-up which comes in two flavours – a 110 kW 35 TFSI S Tronic and a 132 kW 40 TFSI Quattro S Tronic.
Upfront the new addition to the Audi Q3 range sports the familiar Q3 look. The black singleframe appears three-dimensional and is underscored by a prominent aluminium element surrounding it. The trapezoidal air inlets and sculptured bumper are also hard to miss.
The expressive design continues on the side with the slopping roof and roof edge spoiler, strong shoulder lines, and flared wheel archers. At, the back, Audi seems to hit all the right notes with the lines from the designer’s pens appearing strongly on the sporty bumper which seamlessly integrates the design of the air inlets.
LED headlights and rear lights are standard on the vehicle with Matrix LED technology coming in as an optional extra. We recommend the latter. They come with an adaptive high beam which intelligently illuminates the road as best suits the driving situation. You can brighten the really dark elements without dazzling approaching drivers.
A total of ten exterior colours are available for the new Audi Q3 Sportback. These include the new metallic paint colour called Dew Silver which is exclusive to the Q3 Sportback. Adding to the party are the Audi S line exterior trimmings that are standard across the range and come with prominent aluminium elements around the grille, bumper and air inlets.
The standard wheel size is 18 inch with an option to upgrade to larger 19 inch wheels.
Buyers looking for more exclusivity have the choice of the optional Black Styling Package which adds dark surfaces on the bumpers. It also emphasizes the singleframe grille, rear diffuser and the trim strips on the side windows in gloss black.
The interior is also similar in design to the standard Q3. A digital instrument cluster with an 8.8-inch screen, which the driver operates via the multifunction steering wheel, comes with MMI touch radio plus as standard. The Audi virtual cockpit is an optional extra. In the top-of-the-line system which is part of the Technology Package, the Audi virtual cockpit plus comes with a 12.3-inch screen along with MMI Navigation Plus. The system is compatible with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, the latter which is wireless in the top infotainment system. An Audi phone box and the Bang & Olufsen Premium Sound System can be selected as optional extras.
The seat upholstery is available in a combination of leather and leatherette as standard. Alcantara is optionally available and can be enjoyed on the upholstery, instrument panel and the armrests. In the interior S line package, the seat backrests feature the embossed S logo, and the sport leather steering wheel bears a corresponding emblem. The pedal caps and footrest are made of stainless steel, inlays come in dark aluminium and door sill trims have illuminated aluminium inlays.
Audi says the rear is designed for three people and the back bench slides to create more boot space which comes in at a decent 530L and can be expanded to 1,400L.
A storage and luggage compartment package is a further available option. It includes nets on the backs of the front seats, a compartment under the front passenger seat, a luggage compartment net, and LED spotlights in the tailgate. Come on, Audi!
An optional Comfort Package comes with an electric tailgate (that can also be opened and closed with a foot motion) and electrically adjusted, and heated front seats. Depending on the equipment, there are sport seats with contrasting stitching and coloured stripes (orange or grey steel are options for colour choices) along the side panels.
Two interior lighting packages are on offer – ambient lighting and multi-colour contour/ambient lighting package (which is an optional extra). The top-of-the-range version can be adjusted in 30 colours, and also backlights the quattro logo on the passenger side of the dashboard as well as the Audi rings in front-wheel-drive models.
A two-piece panoramic glass sunroof is available as an optional extra.
The safety package includes, among others, lane departure warning and the lane change warning, 360 degree cameras and semi-autonomous park-assist.
Engine and drive
The Audi Q3 Sportback will be offered with an option of two engines choices locally. The 1.4 TFSI in the Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI is powered by a four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with 110 kW of power and 250 Nm of torque. It uses a six speed S Tronic transmission and is capable of taking the car from 0-100 km/h in just 9.3 seconds.
The range topping Q3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro S line is fitted with a 2.0 TFSI turbo petrol engine that produces 132 kW of power and 320 Nm of torque. The engine is paired with a seven speed S Tronic transmission which allows the car to sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.8 seconds.
The Audi Sportback features progressive steering as standard. Audi says, the benefit of this is gear ratio that become increasingly direct as the steering angle increases. A sport suspension is also standard.
Audi Q3 Sportback Packages
Reading this, you will agree that the car come with a whole host of extras. To simplify the process, Audi has grouped the options into 6 packages, these are Comfort, Technology, Sport, Parking, S line interior and Black styling.
The Q3 Sportback is already available at Audi dealerships and is priced as follows:
Audi Q3 Sportback 35 TFSI S Tronic R693,000
Audi Q3 Sportback 40 TFSI Quattro S Tronic R737,000
Both models come standard with a 5 year / 100,000km Audi Freeway plan.
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