It is nothing short of interesting to see the battle between the German luxury car maker trio on battleground India. BMW India, which ruled over the luxury car segments of Indian car market until last year, has now slipped to rank three, below both Mercedes and Audi.
All the three car makers can be seen relying on new car launches and product updates to become more successful.
While BMW India is already close to launching the 1-Series, Audi India seems to have planned to stay away from jumping into the premium hatchback bandwagon and has chosen a different approach to keep the cash counters ringing.
What Audi India intends to do is to focus on its crossovers, especially on the Q3. The Q3 is the segment leader in terms of sales and has met with resounding success in Indian car market. However, with the advent of fresher competition such as that of the recently launched Volvo V40 Cross Country, Audi India fears that sales of the Q3 could witness a fall. Also, the car maker recognizes that it needs to keep a buzz around its product to keep it fresh in the fast developing market. Hence, Audi India could be soon seen slipping in a new entry level variant of the Q3 crossover. Our friends at ICB claim that the car could be launched as soon as in a week’s time.
The new variant of the Q3 will be labelled as the Audi Q3 Sport and will be considerably cheaper than the current entry level variant in Q3’s line up. The Audi Q3 Sport will come to us via CKD (Completely Knocked Down) route and will be assembled at Audi’s assembly facility in Aurangabad.
Currently, the Q3 comes to us through the CBU (Completely build Unit) route and the current entry level variant’s 2 litre diesel engine produces a max power of 174 bhp and a peak torque of 380 Nm.
Audi Q3 Sport, however, will get this engine in a lower state of tune. For the Q3 Sport, the 2.0 litre oil burner will have a max power output of 140 bhp and peak torque of 320 Nm. The Audi Q3 Sport will also miss out on Quattro all wheel drive system and will come with a FWD layout. Replacing the 7 speed automatic gearbox will be a 6 speed manual transmission.
Furthermore, the car won’t come equipped with features such as DRLs (Day time running lights), Bi-Xenon headlamps and sunroof. Further assisting Audi India with keeping the prices under check will be the omission of power assist feature for co-driver side passenger seat, satellite navigation and the reverse parking camera will be replaced by reverse parking sensors.
All this would make Audi Q3 lighter by 140 kilograms and more pocket friendly by almost INR 3.5 lakhs.