Dispatch From Detroit #5
Audi announces sport-ute for skiers and lots o’ diesels.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: January 9th, 2012
The big reveal at Audi’s press event today was the Q3 Vail. Audi also announced three new additions to the U.S. diesel market: the A8 TDI, the A6 TDI, and the Q5 Diesel. But the star of the show, the latest addition to the Q series, and the smallest of the bunch, is a sporty SUV named for Colorado’s best-known ski resort.
It’s a neat little skimobile, with a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine (making 314 hp and 296 lb-ft of torque), AWD, and a seven-speed S tronic trans. Finally, a car built for downhill skiers. According to Audi’s spokesman, “winter sports fits with Audi DNA.” And who are we to argue? But he also said, “The Q party continues,” so who knows what to take seriously with Audi?
The specs that make it practical for winter-sports fans are charging stations in the trunk, rechargeable flashlights, a Thermos bottle housed in a heated and cooled cupholder, and a heated trunk mat that “protects the trunk edge while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded and also provides a warm area to sit on when putting on or taking off your ski boots.”
If we had to guess, we’d say it’ll probably end up being driven by suburban moms who’ll find it perfect for loading and unloading groceries. Kind of like every other sport-ute out there. Not since the Aztec has a car been designed for so specific a market segment (the Aztec was purportedly perfect for camping, although it turned out to be perfect for being pushed off the edge of a canyon and forgotten about). One has to wonder how big the “winter sports enthusiast” car market is, but with the Q3 Vail, I guess we’ll find out.
Related Vehicles: audi