Presented to the auto enthusiasts and prospective purchasers on Monday, January 9th, 2012, the Audi Q3 Vail concept is a miniaturized form of the Q5 model developed on the A3 platform. Named after the spendy, sprawling Colorado mountain resort, this theme edition blends two interesting things together: it showcases a very powerful presence with sportiness in tow, according to the President of Audi of America, Johan Nysschen. One admirer mused that this concept vehicle looks like a squished Audi Q5 that stands on tiptoes
Mr. De Nysschen announced at the recent press conference in New York that what prompted the German automaker to strongly consider importing the car to the U.S. was the great enthusiasm of US car dealers about the prospect of the Q3, which the company originally wanted to sell only in Asia and Europe. As it is now, the automaker has no doubt the concept car would perform very well on the US market, when it starts selling as a production car soon.
Until this latest development, Audi was the lonesome German luxury car manufacturer that didn’t make an entry into the very lucrative compact, crossover market segment. But that position is about to change, when the Q3 Vail hits the US market! But if it wasted so much time before joining the bandwagon is open for debate. Or is late entrance a tactical move designed to conquer the stage once it does? Well, we shall soon see what Audi has in its offing!
Here are some of the remarkable features that help the Audi Q3 concept to ring a loud bell that can be heard from afar: it shares the same platform with the renowned Audi A3 hatchback and its power is supplied by a 314-horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder engine with a 7-speed automatic transmission system.
At the moment, no one, except the Audi insiders, knows how much the Audi Q3 Vail will be priced at and how soon it will hit the market here in the US. All the Audi representatives Audi Concept tried to interview about the matter declined to comment regarding the timetable for the US launch. But judging from the new S7, TT-RS and A4 Allroad, introductions of Audi cars in the US market generally trail their European counterparts by about eight to twelve months. So, since the Q3 will start shipping in Europe later this year, we expect to see it at auto dealers’ shops sometime next year. That’s assuming all things being equal!
For Audi to make the production model of the Q3 Vail competitive against Mercedes-Benz GLK and BMW X3, analysts suggest that the starting price would be in the range of mid-$30,000s.
We’re still probing deeper to get more details about the precise pricing and release date of the Audi Q3 Vail crossover here in the US, and we’ll certainly update you with more information, as we get them. What do you feel about this machine? Do you think it has all it takes to challenge the likes of BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLK?