With power from a modified version of the 2.5L TFSI engine in the TT RS, this latest Audi SUV concept features a powerful 314hp five-cylinder engine but uses a cool winter sports theme to make the Q3 Vail more appealing.
Shown for the first time at the NAIAS in Detroit, the concept has flared fenders with running boards and useful roof rails. The winter themed is extended to the interior and includes induction-charged flash lights, induction-warmed drink flasks and heated cushions.
Designed for ski or snowboard fans, the Audi Q3 Vail concept is painted in Energy Red with a gold pearlescent finish. While its add-on body parts are finished in matte grey quartz-based paint to underline the vehicle’s rugged character. The area around the windows is enhanced by aluminum and gloss black.
Vertical aluminum bars are also integrated in the single-frame grille. The struts in the grille feature a bi-color theme with lateral edges painted in matte quartz and the front faces in a high-gloss.
In the headlights, the lower zones are painted anthracite. The side air inlets are covered by solid aluminum panels. The underbody guard is also made from aluminum.
The front roof-rail support incorporates wide-angled LED lights that illuminate the area around the Q3 Vail and are controlled via buttons in the roof.
The concept is fitted with 255/45 R20 off-road tires mounted on 20” five-spoke wheels whose visible edges have a high-gloss finish like the grille. Their inside areas feature the same matte quartz paint.
With the wider fenders, the track width has increased 40mm compared to a production Q3, and the body sits about 1.3” higher.
At the rear, the two tailpipes of the dual-branch exhaust system are integrated into the diffuser and underbody guard area.
The interior has a sporty black, grey and red color scheme. The headlining is titanium grey Alcantara; large parts of the interior, including the carpet, are black. The mats are edged with narrow strips of red leather.
An innovative leather/fabric material is used for the upholstery – thin strips of leather are interwoven with yarn. The upholstery features piping with double seams that are red. Small sections of the upholstery are made from red velvet-finish leather – a hardwearing material that looks similar to nubuck leather. The segments integrated in the door trims are also in red velvet leather, trimmed in steel grey Fine Nappa leather. The instrument panel is trimmed in black Fine Nappa leather. Contrasting stitching in titanium grey is an elegant highlight.
The leather across the hood of the instrument cluster is steel grey with red contrasting stitching. This color scheme is replicated on the door armrests. The front section of the transmission tunnel also has a leather trim.
The leather steering wheel features red contrasting stitching and an aluminum trim. Behind it are two large shift paddles for controlling the seven-speed S tronic transmission. The footrest and the pedals have thin rubber pads. Slits offer a glimpse of the stainless steel beneath.
In some parts of the interior the trim is in gloss black – the display and control elements on top of them appear to float. This applies to the area surrounding the driver’s information system, the zone around the air vents, the periphery of the MMI terminal and the row of switches on the center console. Aluminum inserts give the black switches an air of sophistication. Chrome trims adorn the controls of the air conditioning system; the air vents have black ribs and chrome-trimmed rotary knobs.
The soft keys for the MMI navigation plus system are made from aluminum, while the control terminal benefits from narrow strips of the same material. The monitor, which can be folded out manually, has trim that matches the surface of the instrument panel.
The MMI system includes an animation showing the longitudinal and latitudinal tilt angle of the Audi Q3 Vail. In regions that are not included in the map data, the MMI navigation plus system logs the GPS coordinates of the route – for assistance during the return journey.
The interior includes two practical devices for winter sports fans. The sidewall of the trunk houses a charging station. It can be used for storing flashlights and charging them inductively at the same time.
The same technology is used for the Thermos bottle. It is located in the cupholder between the front seats and is able to chill or warm drinks. Both devices have LEDs that show the current charge level.
One attractive extra is that, in addition to LED lighting, the flashlights incorporate an infra-red heating element that can be used for warming hands or ski boots.
Another intelligent solution in the themed vehicle is the load floor mat, which has integrated heated seat cushions. The mat can be folded out and laid over the loading lip. This 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 ski boots. Small LED spotlights on the inside of the tailgate provide light.
The Audi Q3 Vail features a 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI engine with direct injection and turbocharging that generates an output of 314hp and 295 lb-ft of torque from a displacement of 2480cc.
The engine has red ‘wrinkle-finish’ paint on the cylinder head cover. A panel made from carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) partially covers the engine, and the air filter is also protected against dirt. There is a decorative trim made from plastic around the engine compartment. The acoustic mat on the inside of the hood has a “Q3 Vail” logo embroidered in dark grey.
The quattro all-wheel drive system operates via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The Audi Q3 Vail accelerates from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and continues to a top speed of 163mph.