Even if you don’t believe in the notion of a coupe crossover, you’d have to agree that Audi’s new Q3 Sportback manages to bring the best of both worlds together.
The swoop-roofed five-seat, five-door small SUV will join its all-new Q3 wagon twin – which launches in Australia at the end of 2019 – before the middle of next year, and we reckon it’ll do the business.
It will, of course, share its under-bits with the Audi Q3 wagon, including its MQB platform, selection of three- and four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and both front- and all-wheel drivetrains.
Designed, we’re told, with the help of two former Ford Australia designers who now work for Audi in Germany, the Q3 Sportback mirrors the Q3 from the A-pillar forward, before morphing into the swept-down roofline with flattened d-pillars, a long roof spoiler and bespoke tailgate arrangement.
Interior space in the second row is surprisingly generous when compared with the regular Q3, though the rear headroom measurement is 25mm lower than in the Q3 wagon. Expect to see items like ISOFIX baby seat mounts, rear vents and USB charging points across the line for second-row passengers, too.
The cargo space of 530 litres with the seats up matches the dimensions of the wagon. Overall, though, it will lose about 125 litres in maximum carrying capacity, with the Sportback rated at 1400 litres with the rear seats lowered.
Expect to see content like a digital dash, an all-new multimedia touchscreen with no centre console buttons, dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and wipers, advanced driver aids like low- and high-speed AEB with traffic jam control, front and rear cross-traffic assist and lane departure assist offered as either standard or as part of option packs for the Q3 Sportback.
LED headlights in three grades will also feature on the spec lists, along with LED taillights and rims up to 20 inches in diameter.
The initial offering in Europe sees the Q3 Sportback launch with the 169kW EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and quattro all-wheel drivetrain, in combination with an eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Expect to see this version debut in Australia as the Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI.
A 2.0-litre diesel version will also go on sale in Europe; Audi Australia currently offers the standard Q3 in a similar specification. A more entry-level version, possibly using Audi’s 1.4-litre three-cylinder turbocharged engine and front-wheel-drive, will follow later, according to the company.
And with Audi Sport recently announcing that it would release two completely new models in 2019, chances are high that a hotted-up RS Q3 - possibly even fitted with the Audi RS3's 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine - could be one of the two.