The much anticipated Audi Q3 Crossover SUV, which is Audi India’s challenger to the BMW X1 Crossover, could arrive into India early next year. This information was revealed by Mr Sirish Chandran, the editor of the Overdrive magazine. Prices will start at Rs. 25 lakhs, putting this entry level Audi right into BMW X1 territory. It will be launched in India the 2012 Auto Expo early next year.
Audi has officially started official production of the Q3 crossover at the SEAT factory in Martorell, located in Spain’s Catalonia region, which was built in 1993 and employs over 10,000 people. Weighing in less than 1500 kgs, the Q3 is the lightest Audi to be produced today. Audi expects to produce 1 lakh units of the Q3 to be built through the three-shift assembly line on an annual basis.Audi and SEAT together have invested around 330 million euros in infrastructure and ultra-modern production facilities.
The Audi Q3 meanwhile is Audi’s entry level offering designed mainly to serve as a crossover that will be at home on Indian roads and their myriad range of imperfections like potholes, badly designed speed breakers and various other impediments to smooth motoring. In essence, a larger hatchback like size along with ease of manouverability could make the Audi Q3 a great bet in the crowded Indian conditions.
Coming to the other aspects of the Audi Q3, in all probability, the crossover will be brought into India as a CKD to be assembled at Audi’s Indian manufacturing facility to ensure that the automaker is able to price the Audi Q3 competitively in the Indian market, in which the BMW X1 is doing very good numbers. The Audi Q3 is priced at 29,900 Euros in Germany, which is around 8-10% more than the BMW X1.
“The Audi Q3 production is an example of how we are making use of synergies within the Group. The Martorell factory is an extremely productive facility with a highly skilled workforce, and one that meets the exacting quality standards of our brand. The Q3 definitely gets the Audi seal of approval,” Frank Dreves, Board Member for Production at AUDI AG, said.
The 2012 Audi Q3 in Germany features with three different 4-cylinder engines including one TDI diesel and two TFSI gasoline units. All three engines using direct-injection with turbocharging along with an energy recovery system and a start-stop system. Output for the engines range from 140-hp from the Q3 2.0 TDI to 211-hp for the top-of-the-line Q3 2.0 TFSI. While the diesel will come coupled with a front-wheel-drive system and a 6-speed manual, the two TFSI variants will get quattro all-wheel-drive and a 7-speed S tronic automatic transmission.
A cheaper and more frugal front wheel drive, 140 Bhp, 2 Liter TDI diesel engined version of the Audi Q3 will be made available to various markets in the future as a low cost, fuel efficient variant, and it would be very interesting to see whether Audi India would dare to dump the Quattro all wheel drive layout for the cheaper front wheel drive keeping cost considerations in mind.
Let us hope that Audi India takes a leaf out of BMW India’s book and begins assembly of engines and transmissions in India to ensure that it is able to keep the CKD duties at 10% instead of 30% for a more competitive price point for it’s CKD products.
Also see –Audi Q3 Launch By Early 2012 In India
More pictures of 2012 Audi Q3 Crossover –