Nimble in town, agile on country roads, unruffled on highways – the new Audi Q3 combines sporty handling with considerably enhanced comfort. It also benefits from its long wheelbase here. And thanks to the quattro drive, it keeps going where the asphalt ends. Ground clearance of 14 centimeters (5.5 in) and an approach angle of 19 degrees and a departure angle of 16 degrees equip the compact SUV for easy terrain.
Sporty design: steering system and axles
Even the standard steering system of the new Audi Q3 is sporty and direct with a ratio of 14.8:1. With the optional progressive steering, this ratio applies to the central position – the further the driver turns the wheel, the more direct the ratio. At full lock, it is 11.4:1. This delivers handling benefits when maneuvering and in tight bends. The Audi Q3 can be moved agilely and precisely with little steering effort. Both standard and progressive steering have electromechanical power assistance that intensifies as the speed decreases for easier maneuverability.
The front axle of the compact SUV has a track width of 1,584 millimeters (5.20 ft), and has a McPherson-style structure with lower wishbones. In the rear, there is a four-link structure with a track width of 1,576 millimeters (5.17 ft). On each wheel, a trailing arm absorbs the tractive and braking forces; its bearing is relatively soft for the sake of ride comfort. By contrast, each of the three wishbones is tautly connected to the cross-member in the interest of dynamic handling – they process the lateral forces. The coil springs and the dampers are assembled separately from each other, increasing the volume of the luggage compartment.
Adaptable: the suspension with damper control
As an alternative to the standard suspension, Audi supplies a sport suspension with tauter spring/damper tuning – standard with the S line exterior equipment. In conjunction with the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, there is also the suspension with damper control. Sensors measure the movements of the vehicle body here. The dampers are then adjusted accordingly to the road surface conditions and driving situation: The suspension provides the optimum damping force for each damper within milliseconds – low for hard bumps; high to brace the body during fast cornering or when braking. This significantly extends the driving properties of the Q3 even more and ensures enhanced driving dynamics with even more comfort.
A matter of adjustment: Audi drive select and electronic stability control
To adjust the characteristics of an Audi Q3 to suit their requirements, customers can order the Audi drive select dynamic handling system as an option. This system allows the driver to choose between auto, comfort, dynamic, efficiency, offroad and individual mode. In every Q3, it influences the power-steering and engine characteristics. Optional technical components such as the seven-speed S tronic and damper control can also be controlled.
In Audi drive select offroad mode, in which the adaptive dampers are set to soft, hill descent control can provide assistance (see illustration). Activated at the touch of a button, it constantly maintains the speed specified by the driver (up to a maximum of 30 km/h) on a steep downhill gradient of more than six percent through automatic brake interventions. The driver specifies the preferred speed by accelerating or braking. This allows the driver to concentrate fully on the terrain. In addition the MMI displays the tilt angle accordingly.
With electronic stability control (ESC), the driver can additionally adjust the traction and driving stability to different terrains. The system operates with great precision and, along with the standard mode that guides the wheels for optimum acceleration with very low wheel spin, also comprises an offroad mode. The system tolerates more spin here, making it easier to gain traction on unpaved roads. Hill hold assist is a standard feature: If the driver releases the brake while the car is stationary after applying for a while, the braking pressure is maintained for a moment. The driver can also deactivate the ESC entirely via a button.
Best foot forward: wheels and brakes
All wheels that Audi supplies for the new Q3 on the German market are made from cast alloy. They are 17 inches in diameter in the standard equipment package, 18 inches in the exterior line advanced and S line. The optional 19-inch wheels – some made by Audi Sport – have tires of size 235/50 or 255/45. Matt titanium-look 20-inch wheels with 5-V-spoke star rims are available exclusively from Audi Sport. They are fitted with 255/40 tires. The driver can order a space-saving spare tire on request. Mounted behind the large wheels are powerful brakes. Depending on the engine type, the ventilated disk brakes on the front axle are up to 340 millimeters (13.4 in) in diameter, and the rear disk brakes up to 310 millimeters (12.2 in).
*Fuel consumption and CO2 emission figures given in ranges depend on the tires/wheels used.
All terms marked in the text are explained in detail in the technology lexicon at www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/technology-lexicon.
The equipment, data and prices specified in this document refer to the model range offered in Germany. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.