Ask around in the circles of the auto industry that project future growth and it seems pretty near unanimous that the next big thing in automotive niches will be the small SUV. If that's true then it's timely as countless number of spy photos have shown the Audi Q3 to be quite close to production. Even better for Audi, sources close to Fourtitude have confirmed the small Audi crossover, loosely based on the Audi CrossCoupe quattro Concept, will debut at AutoShanghai (a.k.a. the Shanghai Motor Show) this coming April.
The Cross Coupe itself debuted in Shanghai back in 2007 and the high-growth Chinese market has shown itself to have a voracious appetite for crossovers so this would make a fair bit of sense.
So What Do We Know about the Audi Q3?
The Audi Q3 will be the smallest of the Audi crossover market, be based on transverse chassis architecture and will added to the production line of a SEAT factory in Martorell Spain. Why Spain? Cost is likely a big factor though other Audi sources point out the company's number of production points are pretty much tapped with demand for current models.
We've heard this first-generation Q3 won't be based on the upcoming MQB modular transverse architecture in the most religious sense but the changeover to MQB is not a clearly defined one and as such even this needs to be said with an asterisk.
We're guessing here but our assumption is that, like the new Volkswagen Jetta and Passat models coming from the Volkswagen Group's Puebla Mexico and Chattanooga, TN plants there are some new "MQB" components in the formula but likely this mixed approach keeps the car in line with costs, in line with its start of production schedule (i.e. A3 will likely be first "all" MQB car to be produced) and also likely will keep it compatible with SEAT's Martorell facility's lines. Might it also be compatible with Chattanooga too? This remains to be seen.
In any event, press days for AutoShanghai are April 19-20 so expect the Q3 to debut on the 19th with more details coming in around that time.