Audi unveiled a new concept car at the 2012 NAIAS, the 314 hp Audi Q3 Vail. Designed for young fans of winter sports who love skiing and snowboarding, the SUV concept is a highlight of the young model series that only launched in 2011.
The Audi Q3 Vail concept is painted in the color developed specially for it – Energy Red. The red paint contains golden pearlescent particles. The high-gloss package, a characteristic feature of the model line, enhances the area around the windows with eye-catching elements in aluminum and high-gloss black.
Vertical struts made from aluminum are integrated in the single-frame grille. They extend across the full height of the grille. In the area of the horizontal panel, which carries the license plate on series-built vehicles, they are pulled outwards to striking effect.
The struts exhibit the bicolor theme that the Audi designers developed for the Q3 Vail: their lateral edges are painted in matt quartz-based paint, and the slim front faces have a high-gloss finish.
The Audi Q3 Vail is fitted with five-arm wheels in 8.5 J x 20 format. Mirroring the single-frame grille, their visible edges have a high-gloss finish, while the inside areas feature the same matt quartz-based paint. The off-road tires are size 255/45. Track width has increased 40 millimeters (1.57 inches) at the front and rear compared to series-built models, and the body is 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) higher
In the interior of the Audi Q3 Vail, three colors offer an ambience of sophistication and sporty elegance – black, gray and red. The headlining is made from titanium gray Alcantara; large parts of the interior, including the carpet, are black. The black, ribbed floor mats are edged with narrow strips of red velvet-finish leather.
The entire instrument panel in the themed vehicle is trimmed in black Fine Nappa leather. Contrasting stitching in titanium gray is an elegant highlight. The leather across the hood of the instrument cluster is steel gray with red contrasting stitching. This color scheme is replicated on the door armrests at the front and rear. The front section of the center tunnel also has a leather trim.
The inlays around the S tronic selector level, at the front of the cockpit and in the doors comprise a three-dimensional stainless steel mesh that requires a complex manufacturing process. The selector lever features a high-gloss black ring and an aluminum badge with a milled “Q3 Vail” signature. The lever gaiter is enhanced by red stitching.
In some parts of the interior the trims are in high-gloss black – the display and control elements on top of them appear to float. This applies to the area surrounding the driver 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 interior of the Audi Q3 Vail includes two practical devices for winter sports fans. The side wall 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 cup holder 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 your hands or a pair of ski boots.
The Audi Q3 Vail features a 2.5-liter five-cylinder TFSI engine with direct injection and turbocharging that generates an output of 231 kW (314 hp) and 400 Nm (295.02 lb-ft) of torque from a displacement of 2,480 cc.
The power of the turbocharged five-cylinder unit is transferred to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. The Audi Q3 Vail accelerates from zero to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.5 seconds and continues to a top speed of 262 km/h (162.80 mph).