Can't say we're entirely surprised.
Audi has committed itself to SUVs of all sizes and various powertrains, including the all-electric e-tron. From the Q2 to the Q8, Audi’s SUVs are even more important to its bottom line than its sedans and coupes. And like its BMW rival, Audi will spare no opportunity to launch yet another SUV. This brings us to the Q3 Sportback, which previous reports claimed would be dubbed the Q4. Apparently, that is not the case as the Q3 Sportback is due to make its debut in July.
Unfortunately, it’s not slated for the North American market. An Audi spokesperson has confirmed to Motor Authority that the Q3 Sportback will not make its way to our continent. No reason was provided.
This is actually quite puzzling because this decision effectively leaves Audi without a direct competitor to the likes of the BMW X2, Jaguar E-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and the Lexus UX. All compact luxury crossovers. All hot-sellers. To pour a little extra salt on the wound, Audi Sport is already hard at work developing an RS version with a reported 400 hp. The bright side is that the US will likely get the regular RS Q3.
The new Q3 (regular body style) will more than likely be a sales success in the US. We were on hand at the 2019 New York Auto Show in March when the new 2020 Q3 made its public debut and we were mightily impressed. Slightly bigger than its predecessor, its new bold styling is exactly what was needed.
The interior, as is typical with Audi, is outstanding thanks to a 10.25-inch gauge cluster display, 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof, and plenty of other tech and connectivity features. All trims will come powered by a 2.0-liter TFSI turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 228 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s probably adequate power but this makes us crave that RS Q3 even more.
Though it’s a shame that RS Q3 won’t have a US-spec Sportback counterpart. We’ve also reached out to Audi North America seeking any additional information, specifically why this decision has been made. We’ll provide any updates if we receive a relevant response.