Detroit Show 2012 Highlights: Audi Q3 Vail Concept

Audi has taken the wraps off its Audi Q3 SUV Vail concept at the Detroit motor show. Designed with a winter sports theme, the Q3 Vail is 40mm wider and 30mm higer than the production Q3 model and features flared arches, roof bars with integrated wide-angled LED lights, and 20-inch alloys clad in off-road tyres.

Powering the AWD Audi Q3 Vail concept is the firm’s familiar 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which is driven via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The Vail produces 310bhp and 295lb ft of torque, which Audi claims will propel the SUV from 0-62mph in 5.5sec, with top speed achieved at 163mph.

Further details of the Audi Q3 Vail concept (the name of which is inspired by a Colorado mountain resort) include a diffuser-integrated exhaust system, ‘Energy Red’ paintwork and a single-frame aluminium grille.

Inside, induction chargeable lights, induction warmed drinks flasks and heated cushions come as standard. Also included are black, ribbed floor mats, special leather upholstery - thin strips of leather are interwoven with yarn – and a Nappa leather instrument panel, with aluminium inlays.

Finishing the Q3s winter sports theme is a charging station in the boot as well as a heated load floor mat, ‘which provides a warm area to sit on when putting on or taking off your ski boots,’ according to Audi.

The Vail concept has been launched to whet the appetite of American buyers ahead of the launch of the Q3 later this year. The compact SUV's US launch is critical for Audi, which needs to increase sales from 2011's 117,500 to 150,000 in the next three years. Audi CEO, Rupert Stadler told Bloomberg News recently "The next pillar of the market that we have to conquer is the United States. We see opportunities in the SUV and sedan segments."

Thanks to: Autocar


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