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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Welly 1:43 Audi Q3 SUV

I gotta love finding unexpected vehicles at unexpected times.  This latest find is a long-overdue find of at least one Audi model based on the current Audi design language, and this one is done nicely by Welly of the smallest SUV in the lineup, the Q3.

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Audi has been in the SUV game for a while that started with lifting an Audi A6 Avant, later A4 Avant, and calling it the All-road.  Then partner VW and Porsche finally released their first SUV, the Touareg and Cayenne, and Audi used this platform to create the Q7 SUV.  Problem is, not many customers want an SUV as big as the Q7 as smaller SUV's gained popularity.  A bit late, Audi finally answered that question with the smaller Q5 and now the Q3.  Based on the same platform shared with the VW Tiguan, VW Golf, and Audi A3, the Q3 is the smallest SUV in the Audi lineup when it was introduced in 2011 for Europe, and finally arriving to the US in 2015.  It shares the same styling with the Q5 but has a few distinct features, including the rear-end that has D-pillars that slope down faster for an almost sedan-like look.  It does share the same liftgate that first appeared on the Q7.  Since it's on the same platform as the A3 it shares the same engine, including the not-for-sale-for-now 2.0L DOHC turbodiesel I-4 that produces 175 hp. and 280 Ib-ft of torque through a 7-speed S-tronic automatic and through Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system.

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This Welly casting starts with a nice orange color called Samoa Orange, and it looks nice: not too dark, not too light.  The front has detailed headlights that don't look like much, but a closer inspection reveals the lines of the lamp unit inside.  The large grille has a chrome surround, Audi rings, and Quattro badge, while the lower bumper has additional scoops with foglights that lack detail (I added the silver to the foglights).  The sides show a typical SUV roofline save for the D-pillar that quickly lowers before the end of the vehicle, nice silver slots on the roof, and flared fenders wrapped around the double 5-spoke wheels to give it an aggressive off-road look just like the Allroad.  The back-end shows off the sloping rear window, wide tailgate opening with taillights similar to the Q7's, Q3 and TDI badges, and single-outlet exhaust with dual tips.  Once again I spruced the exterior up by adding the missing details on the rear bumper: the reflector lights with integrated reverse lamps.

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The base does not show much, typical of today's underbody aerodynamic aids on most modern vehicles, but does show some detail with the exhaust system and the driveshaft for the Quattro all-wheel drive system.  Open the doors to show the interior which features seating for five in supportive seats (though the rear seats may be a but snug for a vehicle this size).  The doors have detailed door handles, speakers, and I added some silver trim around certain areas.  Same goes for the center console with the detailed shifter and A-C controls.  The 3-spoke steering wheel features detailed buttons and gauges from behind, and then there;s the center dashboard design: most vehicles, including Audi, would have the touchscreen for the radio and other infortainment controls in the center, but not on the Q3: it has the screen mounted on top of the dashboard that folds down when not in use.  Fine, but this results in a few buttons on a flat surface just above the HVAC controls.  Either way, it's a nice cabin that I enhanced by adding silver details to the brushed aluminum trim pieces.

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This Q3, unlike Audi's other SUV's, is designed to be more sporty and less practical.  Either way it looks pretty good with the signature Audi look in this awesome orange color.  You won't see something like this everyday at your typical retail stores!

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