Audi Q3: More variants on the wishlist for Australia

Audi Australia is looking at "potential opportunities" to bolster its successful Q3 SUV range and plug the gap between core and RS models.

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James Wong
James Wong
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After a record-setting month of sales in March, Audi Australia could be looking at plugging the gap between the Q3 SUV and RSQ3 performance hero.

“There’s potential opportunities for new variants” in the Australian range, an Audi Australia spokesperson told CarExpert.

There’s currently a void between Q3 40 TFSI S line, which has 132kW of power, and fire-breathing RSQ3 variants.

Audi has been battling supply shortages for months, with further interruptions anticipated into 2021 despite March’s record-breaking sales results.

Despite this, the company says the RSQ3 has been “extraordinarily popular” with Australian buyers.

Elsewhere in the world, the Q3 is offered with an extended range of turbocharged petrol and diesel powertrains, as well as a plug-in hybrid.

What’s most likely under consideration for Australia is the 45 TFSI quattro, which runs the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine fitted to the Skoda Octavia RS and VW Golf GTI.

Outputs are quoted at 180kW (5000-6000rpm) and 370Nm (1700-4300rpm), with drive sent to a quattro all-wheel drive system through a seven-speed dual-clutch.

According to Audi UK, the Q3 45 TFSI quattro dashes from 0-100 in 5.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 236km/h. While there’s no SQ3 currently, this variant serves as the middle-tier performance variant globally.

The 45 TFSI slots between the 132kW/320Nm 40 TFSI quattro and 294kW/480Nm RSQ3 models. In Australia, there’s a circa-$30,000 price gap between the former and latter in both wagon and Sportback body styles.

Beyond the pseudo-performance petrol model, another option are the 40 TFSI e and 45 TFSI e plug-in hybrids, which would be rivals to the Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV and upcoming Peugeot 3008 PHEVs.

In 45 TFSI e guise the Q3 plug-in hybrid develops 180kW and 400Nm from its 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine and 85kW electric motor, with EV driving range quoted at 50km on the WLTP combined cycle.

PHEVs are lower on the priority list for Audi Australia than electric vehicles, so we’d wager there’s a better chance of seeing the 45 TFSI quattro Down Under.

To the end of March 2021, Audi Australia has sold 1590 examples of the Q3 marking an 87.9 per cent increase year-to-date on the same period in 2020. March also saw monthly growth of 235.4 per cent to 852 units, an all-time record.

In the premium small SUV segment, the Q3 has accounted for 27 per cent of sales year-to-date. If you combine that with the smaller Q2’s sales, Audi accounts for one in three sales in the segment.

MORE: Audi Q3 news, reviews, comparisons and videos
MORE: Audi RSQ3 news, reviews, comparisons and videos

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James Wong
James Wong
James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert.
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