Despite the late arrival on the scene of the Audi Q7, the 4×4 behemoth from Audi has certainly made its mark. Followed recently by the Q5, it has carved a niche for Audi that is standing up remarkably well in the current climate. But Audi are intent on capitalising on their 4×4 success story, and have today revealed that the next instalment – The Audi Q3 – will start production in 2011 at a SEAT plant in Martorell in Spain.
A very sensible move by Audi, allowing them to make their mark in the compact 4×4 market, competing against the likes of Ford’s new Kuga. But one thing is puzzling us. As far as we were aware, Audi only had the rights to use the Q7 and Q5 monikers. And that was only possible after Nissan agreed to let them (Nissan apparently holds copyright on ‘Q’ car names), so whether Audi has screwed a new agreement from Nissan, or whether they’re going to call it the AudiQ5-2 we’ll have to wait and see! (But if anyone from Audi is reading, perhaps you could let us know)
In order to prepare for the Q3 (as we shall persist in calling it, despite the doubts) Audi is to spend €300 million on preparing the SEAT plant for production. The Q3 is expected to be based on Audi’s Cross Coupe Concept from 2007 (as in the photo above) and be based on the A3 platform. Which means it is likely to get the same engines as the A3, including the 2.0 litre TFSi and the 3.0 litre diesel.
Audi will have competition from other premium marques, as BMW is busy preparing the X1 and Land Rover have been given Government backing to push on with the Land Rover LRX concept.
Looks like it’s going to be a busy sector in the next couple of years.