The Allroad Shooting Brake Concept monopolised attention with its shocking blue paint, razor creases and its hybrid-electric drivetrain that the company claims would achieve 123mpg on the European testing cycle. That regimen lets plug-in hybrids empty their battery during the test, which produces inflated fuel consumption values, but nevertheless, the point is taken that the Allroad is efficient.
Total system power of the front-mounted gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain is 408hp, with staggering torque of 479 pound-feet that should vault the Allroad from a standstill to 62mph in 4.6 seconds, Audi claims, and on to a terminal velocity limited to 155mph.
The car's turbocharged 2-litre gasoline engine is rated at 292hp, and the whole system drives through a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the front wheels. For rear-wheel power, the shooting brake employs an 85kW electric motor.
The car has an 8.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack that can be charged from household current and which, when used exclusively, can propel the shooting brake as far as 30 miles if driven gently. If not driven gently, it can reach a top speed of 81mph in electric mode.
The Q3, which had its global debut at the 2013 Frankfurt motor show, is the natural and anticipated Audi take on Volkswagen’s well-regarded Tiguan compact crossover. Now comes the higher-ground-clearance crossover variant that, judging from the popularity of premium products in the segment, should boost Audi's fortunes.
The company has big plans for the Q3 – and for the coming A3/S3 sedan – in the US. "Audi intends to make a lot of noise in the entry-level luxury car market," said Scott Keogh, president and chief executive of Audi of America. Sales in the segment are predicted to grow by 200% this year in the US, he noted.
Like the Tiguan, the Q3 is powered by a 200hp 2-litre four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission pulling the car along by its front wheels in standard trim. Naturally, Quattro all-wheel drive is optional. It also includes a panoramic sunroof, high-intensity discharge Xenon headlights with LED running and taillights, and heated, leather-wrapped 12-way power front seats as standard.
Crisply creased rear fenders lend the Q3 a forward-leaning stance, tipped by wedge-shaped headlights at the front. Hood and tailgate are fashioned from aluminium for reduced weight, and the tailgate's clamshell design gives the hatch opening a clean, uncluttered appearance when open. The Q3 is scheduled to reach dealers during the third quarter of the year with pricing in line with natural competitors like the BMW X1 and the new Mercedes-Benz GLA.