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Audi Q3 confirmed for Australia

Baby boomer: Audi's smallest SUV, the new Q3, will be built by Spanish subsidiary Seat for Audi.

Compact Q3 crossover bound for Audi’s Australian stable

3 Aug 2010

AUDI’S answer to the just-released BMW X1 compact SUV, the Q3, is coming to Australia.

The compact crossover might be shown in production form as early as September’s Paris motor show before going into production in Spain next year.

On-sale dates are yet to be confirmed for Europe or overseas markets, but Audi Australia’s new managing director Uwe Hagen has confirmed it will join the Australian stable alongside its two other SUVs. “The first car we brought to the Australian market was the Q7, which was really successful,” he said.

“Then we brought the Q5, which, from beginning was the most successful car in this segment.

“The Q3 is a confirmed development, the launch is not confirmed, but for sure it will come to the Australian market, there is no question.”

7 center imageIn Europe and the US, the Q3 will compete against the BMW X1 and the Mercedes-Benz GLK, which is produced only in left-hand drive.

“Mercedes has a car in their range, the GLK, but they have made the decision to not bring this car to the Australian market I have no idea why,” Mr Hagen said.

“I never comment on other brands, because we have our own reasons, but Australia for us is a really important market.”

Mr Hagen said Australians would not have to wait long after the Q3 is launched to be able to buy one locally.

He pointed out that the time between the international product introduction and the Australian launch was far shorter than it had been in the past, despite the fact that models bound for countries with extreme conditions such as Australia required more engineering work.

“Look at the A8 – the launch time in Germany and Australia is really close,” he said.

“The difference is that Australia is what we call a hot market so you need some extra developments to bring them to a specific market, but it is really close.”

Mr Hagen was confident the Q3 would be successful despite arriving in the market after the BMW X1.

“The Q3 will enhance our product range and I am sure we have customers for this car,” he says.

“What I have learnt in 25 years in the car industry is that it is not a question of when you come with the car it is that you come with the car.”

The Q3, which will be produced at a Seat factory in Martorell, is described as a small sporty coupe-like five-door SUV with seat positions, wheel size and ground clearance of a typical SUV with a sportier driving experience.

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