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Audi Q3 Vail

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Whats New
Today at the Detroit Auto Show, Audi announced the Q3 Vail will begin production in late 2013. Best of all, Audi confirmed the sport ute would be coming to the United States as sales of the larger Q5 and Q7 continue to surge. Under the hood, we saw images of TFSI, Audi's direct injection turbo engine, which we're guessing will be the 2.0-liter four-cylinder. If so, it would probably rate close to the 200-hp threshold seen in the A3/A4. As for drivetrain, the Vail is equipped with Audi's quattro all-wheel drive, rugged tires, and a ski rack.

Who's it for?
Better think twice about BMW's X3 or Acura's RDX, the new Audi Q3 Vail might up them both. Most of all, though, it could usurp the hype of Land Rover's newest rugged ute, the Evoque. The Q3 Vail looks to be the smallest crossover in Audi's lineup, aimed for those who don't need the size of the Q5 or Q7. Think less soccer mom, and more urban professional, due to the rear cargo room.

Key Features

  • Google maps 3D topographical GPS with streetview (NVIDIA graphics chip)
  • The ski rack and rugged tires
  • Should see solid fuel mileage ratings, especially if it comes with diesel

What We Think
Audi's really turning into a superpower. At the Audi Q3 Vail press conference, the German automaker also announced a refreshed S4, and diesel engine options for the 2013 A8, A6, and Q5. Apparently, half of all Audi's sales in 2011 were diesel, which according to Audi, is "no longer a dirty word in the US." With pressure to meet CAFE standards, it's clear that Audi intends to do so with diesel, and the Q3 Vail would make for a fine addition to that lineup.

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