SEAT plant gets nod for Audi’s Q3 SUV
Audi’s Q3 small SUV is to be built at SEAT’s Martorell plant in Spain.
The Spanish brand, sister to Audi in the VW Group, has announced that it will be taking on 700 staff at the plant near Barcelona to produce the Q3.
The car is expected to go sale in the UK in November as a smaller sister to the established Q5 and Q7 models.
The Q3 is based on the Cross Coupe concept first seen at the Shanghai Motor Show in China in 2007. At the time Audi said the car would launch in 2011 as part of Audi’s plans to reach 40-plus different models by 2015.
Some observers expected a production version of the Q3 to be unveiled at this month’s Geneva Motor Show. It is now predicted to appear at the Shanghai show in April.
Recent spy shots of the car suggest that the sleek profile of the Cross Coupe will be retained in the production version, making the car a serious rival to the new breed of crossover models that are proving popular in the market.
Mechanically the Q3 will be very similar to the Tiguan produced by Audi’s sister brand Volkswagen.
Whether the building of the Q3 in one of its plants will aid SEAT’s own SUV ambitions has not been revealed. The IBX concept, an SUV believed to be similar to the Audi Q3, was shown at Geneva.
Words by: Andrew Charman