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Audi to lower entry level for Q3

The current Audi Q3 TDI quattro diesel base model.

Audi has launched a new 1.4-litre TFSI petrol four-cylinder version for its Q3 range, which will become the new entry point to the model. The new Q3 has been announced for the UK market, and is likely to reach other right-hand drive markets after mid-year, slotting in under the current cheapest variants, the $47.500 103kW/320Nm 2.0 TDI quattro diesel and the $49.450 125kW/280Nm 2.0 TFSI quattro petrol.

Against their level, the new car offers only front-wheel drive -- with overseas transmission choices of six- and seven-speed dual clutch box -- and just 110kW (from 5000rpm) and 250Nm (from 1750-3000rpm).

But it will be the most efficient petrol in the line-up with an official fuel economy figure of 6.2L/100km on a combined driving cycle, compared to the 7.7L/100km of the 2.0-litre TFSI and not far behind the 5.8L/100km of the diesel -- and for some buyers, the cheaper price of petrol may be enough of a trade-off to move them away from the oilburner.

Audi is touting a 0-100km/h time of 8.9 seconds, which would make it a full second faster than the diesel and just 0.7 behind the TFSI in acceleration, so if true, it'll lose little to them.

Prices and arrival of the new Q3 have not yet been confirmed by Audi Australia, but if you have around $45,000 in the bank by mid-year, you'll be looking prepared.

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott