2018 Paris Motor Show: Audi's Q3 SUV has been revamped completely
Audi brought out a number of updates, added new variants and also showed off a new model at the 2018 Paris Motor Show. Also in true motor show tradition, an EV supercar concept also made an appearance.
New Audi Q3
The 2019 Audi Q3 SUV borrows its styling cues from the flagship offering, the Q8 that can be seen from the restyled front and rear bumpers. The front grille has been revamped and looks much larger than the previous offering, Also, the bumpers get triangular openings, a similar pattern is seen in the recess between the spokes of the alloy wheels. Audi has managed to make more space in the cabin, mainly due to the 77mm wheelbase stretch. The boot space too has gone up from 473l to 530l.
The cabin of the 2019 Audi Q3 SUV too has been completely redesigned and looks much more premium than before. The SUV now comes with Audi's digital instrument cluster that is now seen on most of the Audi offerings. The Q8 inspiration can also be seen in the cabin with the new design.
The Euro-spec SUV will be offered with a choice between two petrol and one diesel engine. The 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine will continue to do duty on the Q3 and will be offered in two derivatives in the international market, 190PS 40 TFSI and a 230PS 45 TFSI. As has been the norm, Audi will offer Quattro on all powertrains and the transmission unit that will be offered will be the seven-speed S-Tronic dual clutch.
The Q8 sits above the Q7 in the carmaker's line-up and will be a sportier alternative to the more rational Q7. This positioning is accentuated by the new SUV's coupe-SUV shape versus the Q7's more upright stance. The strong haunches and a rear taillamp unit that runs the entire length of the car further accentuate this SUV's sporting ambitions.
Powertrain options also mimic those found on its other siblings, this means a range of V6 petrol and diesel motors. The range-topping engine will be the 4.0-litre V8 also seen on the Urus but will likely put out more than 600PS in this car. A plug-in hybrid option will likely be made available as well. This combines a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 and an electric motor fed by a 17.9 kWh lithium-ion battery to produce around 438PS and 700Nm of torque. About 60 km of all-electric range should be made available.
Audi also took the covers off the new generation of its smallest model, the A1. eight years have elapsed since the original broke ground and the new car now grows in size considerably, breaching the four metre mark. The A1 shares its MQB A0 platform with the new-generation Euro-spec Volkswagen Polo and like its sibling, is only available as a five door. The design has also matured and is now more angular. There is a bigger, more upright grille, and both the front and rear bumpers have large air intakes.
Following market trends, no diesel engines are being offered in Europe. The most powerful engine option is a 200PS 2.0 litre turbo petrol four-cylinder. The base engine option is a 95PS 1.0 litre three cylinder petrol. A manual gearbox or seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto gearbox option is available in all models except the auto-only top-level model. Other options are a 150PS 1.5 litre.
The interior get Audi's latest design theme, with a large infotainment screen angled towards the driver. All the usual active safety and driver aids are available.
In the biggest change over the standard Q2, the SQ2 gets a 2.0 litre, 300PS and 400 Nm motor which helps it get from 0 to 100 in 4.8s and on to a limited top speed of 250 kmph. The motor is the same as the one seen on the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3. This is mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox and standard AWD.
Cosmetic changes are subtle. There is a slight reworking to the grille with SQ2 badging and black detailing along with a four tipped exhaust. The SUV sits lower to the ground by 20mm. The interior gets sports seats finished partly in leather and Alcantara, contrasting red stitching.
R8 LMS GT3
The Audi R8 has made quite a name for itself in the global motorsport circuit and Audi Sport has launched a new track-spec model of the supercar to appeal to a wider group of privateer racers. Consequently, this update focused on improved aerodynamics and more consistent performance.
There is a new front splitter, a prominent wing, minor tweaks to the headlamps and new cooling ducts on the bonnets. There is also better heat management and easier adjustments can now be made to various components like the suspension. The car is now 30 kgs lighter by way of aluminium in the space frame, structural carbon fibre in the centre tunnel, back wall and steel roll cage. The 5.2 litre V10 now makes 580PS and 542 Nm while the six-speed sequential gearbox has been made more durable.
PB18 e-tron concept
Following its debut at the Monterey Car week, the PB18 e-tron concept was also shown at the Paris Motor Show. The car is fully electric but in a major break from the norm, has no autonomous driving technology to speak of. There are three electric motors, two on each rear axle and one on the front fed by a mid-mounted 95 kWh battery pack. This set up puts out a combined output of 671PS and 830 Nm. An overboost function can bump power up to 764PS in short bursts. The car can do 500 km in a single charge and get from 0 to 100 in a hypercar-beating 2.0s.
The PB18 ditches the traditional supercar look and comes as a shooting brake. The aggressive front end and more purposeful hatchback-like rear work very well with the strong character lines.
The PB18's body is made from aluminium, carbon fibre and other composite materials. The PB18 stands out even further from the current crop of electric supercars with its interior layout. The dash and instrument cluster is a transparent OLED screen which all the data to the driver. But the party trick here is that the entire monocoque including driver's seat and controls can move positions.
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