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Consumer Reports auto experts report from the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Audi Q3 Vail

What is it? Audi displayed the compact Q3 crossover in Detroit, sharing a concept for a potential transplanted model to slot below the midsized Q5 in the brand’s U.S. portfolio. Treated to a ski theme, this Q3 presents the vehicle, as well as lifestyle accessories.

Offered in other markets, the Q3 could give Audi an entry in the growing small luxury crossover category. Suffice to say, it packages premium equipment in a more compact form that could appeal to buyer’s seeking an upscale crossover, but who don’t need the space or monthly payments of a larger vehicle.

What is new or notable? The Q3 Vail features a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine producing 314 horsepower. This prodigious output is routed to each corner via a seven-speed transmission to a permanent all-wheel-drive system. Audi claims 0-60 mph times around 5.5 seconds, also known as musclecar territory. In other markets, the Q3 is offered with more modest powertains, including a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, that may make for a better fit for an “entry-level” upscale crossover.

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