They say variety is the spice of life, and Audi certainly seems to believe that when it comes to crossovers. A redesigned Audi Q3 recently launched in Europe, and will soon make its way to the United States. Audi is rolling out a Q3 Sportback model as well, but it will not be available in the U.S.
The main difference between the Sportback and the standard Q3 is styling. With its sloping roofline, the Sportback is the latest in a long line of “SUV coupes” meant to give utility vehicles some of the styling panache of traditional coupes. The Sportback does have a more extroverted look than the standard Q8; it almost looks like a mini version of the Audi Q8.
But that roof line cuts into cargo space. The Sportback offers 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place, and 49.4 cubic feet with the seats folded, according to Audi. That’s down from the 23.8 cubic feet and 53.9 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and folded, respectively, on the standard Q3. So this utility vehicle is somewhat lacking in utility.
The Q3 Sportback gets the same tech features as the standard Q3. That means the Sportback is available with a 12.3-inch “Virtual Cockpit” reconfigurable digital instrument cluster (a smaller 10.25-inch version is standard). The 10.1-inch central touchscreen emits a sound when an item is selected to make navigating the menus easier. Q3 models use a more basic version of the MMI infotainment system found in Audi’s bigger models.
In Europe, the Q3 Sportback will launch with 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline or diesel engines, with all-wheel drive and automatic transmissions. Audi will add a manual-transmission option to the diesel after launch, along with a more powerful diesel and an “entry-level” gasoline engine tht work with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The Sportback will get standard lane departure warning, with adaptive cruise control and a 360-degree camera system as optional extras.
The Audi Q3 Sportback launches in Europe this fall. In Audi’s home country of Germany, it will start at the equivalent of $44,820 for a base diesel model. An Audi spokesperson told Digital Trends that the Sportback will not be sold in the U.S. We will get the redesigned version of the standard Q3, which is already available in Europe.