DETROIT – Audi confirms it will bring the small Q3 cross/utility vehicle to the U.S., unveiling a concept version of the model called the Q3 Vail that puts the emphasis on sporty styling and all-wheel drive.
Production of the U.S.-market Q3 will begin in late 2013, and Audi of America President Johan de Nysschen says annual volumes probably will approach 10,000 units.
“But that’s what I said about the Q5, and we’re selling 25,000 annually,” he tells WardsAuto. “So I’m not very good at predicting.”
CEO Rupert Stadler says the long-awaited decision to sell the Q3 in the U.S. was made after the model received an overwhelmingly positive response from U.S. dealers at a preview of the CUV a year ago.
The Q3 Vail is equipped with a turbocharged 2.5L 5-cyl. developing 314 hp and 295 lb.-ft. (400 Nm) of torque. Power is distributed through a 7-speed S-tronic automatic to the vehicle’s quattro AWD system
Sales chief Peter Schwarzenbauer says 40% of Audi’s global vehicle sales last year were quattro models.
Audi also shows the S4 performance version of its volume A4 line. It features a 3.0L turbocharged engine delivering 333 hp and 325 lb.-ft. (440 Nm) of torque, mated to a 7-speed S-tronic transmission.
That car is expected to arrive in the U.S. in August or September.