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Spy shot Audi Q3

The latest model in Audi's SUV push is not officially confirmed from Germany but is clearly revealed in new Carparazzi images that have been drafted from inside information fresh from Europe.

The Q3 is revealed as a compact, classy, soft-roader which will take Audi's SUV drive in a new direction and well away from the wagon-style look of its closest rival, the BMW X1 that will be revealed later this year for sales in 2010 in Australia.

The design of the Q3 picks up the softer, rounded look of Audi's recent compact concept cars and is clearly related to the baby A3 hatchback. But it will sit higher and have a body shape that is closer, in some ways, to the controversial BMW X6 that has polarised SUV buyers since it was launched last year.

The Q3, like the Q5, will come late to the class but Audi is confident it will do well against the X1 and rivals including the production version of the Land Rover LRX — a baby city car — which is also programmed for 2010.

The big difference is that BMW is taking a wagon-style approach to the design of the X1, which uses the mechanical package from the 3 Series all-wheel drive model. It is intended more as a go-anywhere family wagon than a sporty SUV.