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Saturday, June 11, 2011

When Audi Q3 Crossover SUV will launch in India

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. Apart from when the Audi Q3 will be launched in India, no other information regarding it’s price or the engine range has been revealed thus far. 

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.

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.

Engine options globally for the Audi Q3 include 2 liter TFSI petrol engines with 170 and 211 Bhp respectively while the 2 Liter TDI common rail diesel engine is rated at 170 Bhp. Considering the X1 has a 180 Bhp 2 liter diesel motor in India, the Q3 arriving with the 170 Bhp, 2 Liter TDI engine would be the best bet currently.

So, early 2012, perhaps during 2012 Indian Auto Expo is when Audi India will bring the Audi Q3 into India. 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.


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