2015 Audi Q3 Getting 120 HP Base Version in 2015: 1.6 TDI or 2.0 TDI Diesel

2015 Audi Q3 1 photo
Photo: Audi
Want to know the biggest difference between a German automaker and a Japanese one? It's diversity. We love the Mazda6 sedan, but it only comes with four flavors of four-cylinder engines. On the other hand, the new VW Passat offers no less than 10 different engines, including a PHEV system. Diversity means there's a bigger chance that one particular customer will find what he likes. Ever the restless engineering company, Audi revealed a refreshed Q3 crossover SUV today. The engine range is completely new and up to 17% more economical than before. We've read the official press release a couple of times and we believe there might be a little Easter Egg hidden in there, to be revealed in February when production starts. It reads that the "three TFSI and three TDI clean diesel fourcylinder engines […] displace 1.4 or 2.0 liters and produce between 88 kW (120 hp) and 162 kW (220 hp)."
However, the press statement then goes on to detail three petrol engines (150 hp, 180 hp and 220 hp), but only two diesels, namely the 150 hp and 184 hp versions of the EA288 2.0 TDI.

We know that's a little complicated, but here's where things become simple!

There are only a few Volkswagen Group engines that fit that description. We think the most likely candidate is the latest 1.6 TDI they installed on the Passat. It's great for people who want to downsize. If offered on the Q3, it would only work with front-wheel drive as a base model.

Audi also has an older generation 2.0 TDI with 120 hp, which it still offers on the A4 and A4 Avant. The layouts of the A4 and Q3 are radically different, so we don't think this is our winner. Still, the industry is pointing towards larger diesel engines with low output. For example, the GLA 200 CDI is currently offered with a 2.1-liter unit that makes only 136 horsepower.

Our last piece of speculation takes requires us to take a look at the 1.4 TFSI turbo, which does have a 125 hp base version. Close enough, but an underpowered petrol engine on a 1.4 ton vehicle sounds like a bad idea.

We've reached out to Audi with our many unanswered questions. They confirmed the 120 hp Q3, the least powerful model ever, is real. However, it won't be revealed until 2015, when it goes on sale in Germany.
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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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