Audi Warms Winter-Lovers with the Striking Q3 Vail Concept

At the Detroit Auto Show, a month before Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, Audi unveiled a concept vehicle that had more than a few cold-weather-lovers daydreaming of six more weeks of winter. Derived from the automaker’s forthcoming, Volkswagen Tiguan–based compact sport-utility vehicle, the Q3 Vail Concept pays tribute to one of the world’s great ski destinations with dramatic styling touches and a host of artfully designed and engineered enhancements.

Audi’s relationship with skiers is strong, thanks in no small part to its partnership with the United States Ski Team. So there’s more to the Vail concept than an (admittedly gorgeous) coat of Energy Red paint and 20-inch five-spoke wheels, including sculpturally beautiful aluminum roof rails that were conceived with the needs of skiers and snowboarders in mind. Wide-angle LED floodlights illuminate the darkness—perfect for those nighttime trips to Eagle’s Nest.

Behind its single-frame grille, the Vail’s 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine delivers 314 hp through a 7-speed manu-matic transmission and, of course, Quattro all-wheel drive. Audi claims the car will sprint to 60 mph in a brisk 5.5 seconds and press on to 163 mph.

The Q3 is set to arrive in the United States for the 2014 model year, priced comfortably below the Q5’s $35,600 starting figure. Expect most of the Vail Concept’s wintertime enhancements to join the options lists (or the Audi collection catalog), and the turbocharged 5-cylinder power plant may find its way here eventually, too. At launch, however, look for Audi’s familiar turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engines. (audiusa.com)

Today’s german auto museums are much more than vaults filled with old cars: They are structural...
A half-century after its historic victory in Europe, Shelby’s iconic racer returns to celebrate…
Battery pack improvements give the car the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds…
Classic Ferraris and Porsches will be on display in all of their glory…
In addition to the Ferraris, rare cars from DuPont and Carrozzeria Touring will also be spotlighted…
The Porsche Cayman GTS is a serious sports car with a long, low profile...
Photograph by Charlie Magee
Yacht owners can stow this jet-like joyride for one in its own climate-controlled container…
Photo by Artcurial Motorcars
Auto critic Robert Ross sifts through the barn-find phenomenon at auction—and in his own garage.
The Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 made an unexpected debut at the Geneva International Motor Show in March...
Our selection of the top lots includes stunning vintage examples from Porsche, Ferrari, and others…