This is the Q3, the car that’s set to become the latest addition to Audi off-roader line-up, and the image shows precisely how the curvy and compact 4x4 is shaping up.

Joining the imposing Q7 and understated Q5, the Q3 is the car Audi fans have been waiting for to rival the forthcoming BMW X1 and MINI Crossman – taking Audi into an all-new market segment.

Previewed by the Cross Coupe Quattro concept at the 2007 Shanghai Motor Show, the production model will share its proportions with that show car, but lend heavily from the flowing creases and clean surfaces of the Q5.

The chassis will be borrowed from Audi’s parent company VW – more specifically from the similarly sized Tiguan. Both two and four-wheel drive version will be available, with the latter using a Haldex-developed all-wheel drive setup also shared with the Tiguan.

Engine choices are likely to include a 2.0-litre TDI turbodiesel with either 138bhp or 168bhp, as well as the 2.0-litre TFSI unit from the Golf GTI with up to 207bhp, channelled through either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DSG ‘box.

Audi has already confirmed that the Q3 will enter production at SEAT’s Martorelli plant in Barcelona in 2011. Expect to see another Q3 concept – bearing a closer resemblance to the production version this time – some time next year.
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