Audi Q3 Small SUV Coming in 2011, to be Built by SEAT in Spain

An all new small SUV model called the Q3 that will sit right under the Q5 will be added to Audi's range in 2011, the German automaker announced today. To the delight of SEAT's workers as it will help protect around 1,200 jobs, Audi said that the Q3 SUV will be manufactured at the Spanish firm's Martorell factory outside Barcelona. Audi was also considering to build the Q3 in the USA, however the company said that due to the economic crisis, it has postponed this decision.

"We will systematically explore our options in the context of the current market crisis. Audi is in a good position. There is currently no urgent need to select additional sites," said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management at AUDI.

Commenting on the decision to produce the Q3 in Spain, SEAT Chairman, Eric Schmitt said, "We are overjoyed to be able to keep up the good relations we have enjoyed over the past few years with Audi, and we will continue to nurture that relationship in the future with the manufacture of the brand's new model in our production plant".

Manufacture of the Audi Q3 will begin in 2011 with an annual production capacity of up to 80,000 units. The total investment in the Martorell plant will amount to around €300 million.

Audi's small SUV will be based around the VW Tiguan architecture with power coming from a range of engines that will include the 1.4 TSI, 1.8 TSI and 2.0 TSI turbocharged gasoline and the 2.0 TDI diesel units.

"The Q3 will blend a compact car's design and driving dynamics with an SUV's spaciousness and versatility. True to Audi tradition, innovative technical solutions will blaze new trails in efficiency, driving pleasure, and comfort," said the company in a statement.

* Vehicle seen in the photos is the 2007 Audi Cross Coupe Quattro Concept Study