MUNICH -- The Audi Q3 will get more efficient powertrains with technology such as the crossover’s first use of fuel-saving cylinder deactivation as part of the model’s mid-cycle refresh.
The revised Q3, which will launch in Europe in February and later in the year in the U.S., also will offer a revised design and have more standard features to try to stay ahead of rivals such as the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA.
The Q3 is the top-selling model in Europe’s fast-growing premium crossover segment followed by the X1.
Half-year European sales for the segment were up 9 percent to 232,075, according to JATO Dynamics, helped by a 5 percent gains in Q3 sales to 40,730 units.
“The Q models are important growth drivers for the brand, and 2014 has been the most successful year for the Q3 so far,” an Audi spokeswoman said.
Global sales of the Q3 rose nearly 60 percent last year to 145,000 cars and are up more than 30 percent in the first 10 months of 2014, according to the company.
Mark Fulthorpe, director of global light vehicle production at IHS Automotive, expects the Q3’s sales rise to continue. “We are forecasting that the Q3 will grow by 40,000 units [globally] this year due almost entirely to higher production in China,” Fulthorpe said. “That would mean it would overtake BMW’s X1, where output is set to drop by about 20,000 this year as demand falls in Europe and the model heads toward the end of its life cycle.”
IHS Automotive expects global production for the segment to surge to 1.1 million vehicles in 2019 from just about 220,000 in 2011 as German premium brands add more compact crossovers to their lineups and others, such as Infiniti, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo and Cadillac, all look to come with their first entries.