By on October 8, 2013

Audi_Q3_2.0_TDI_quattro_S_tronic_Karibubraun

The Audi Q3 won’t be coming to the United States for a couple of years, according to Car and Driver. The issue stems from the Q3′s approach angle, which is not sufficient to be classified as a “light truck” in America. Why does this matter? Well, CAFE of course. Crossovers, as car like as they may be, are more beneficial for auto makers looking to meet CAFE standards, and Audi isn’t going to all this trouble to have the Q3 come over as a car.

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43 Comments on “Audi Delays Q3′s US Debut Due To Regulatory Issue...”


  • avatar
    hreardon

    Derek,

    For those of us not terribly well versed in what an “approach angle” is, or how the whole CAFE structure affects different classes of vehicles, would it be possible to give a short refresher on those topics?

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Approach Angle (for CAFE purposes):

      Approach angle means the smallest angle, in a plane side view of an automobile, formed by the level surface on which the automobile is standing and a line tangent to the front tire static loaded radius arc and touching the underside of the automobile forward of the front tire.

      http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2009-title49-vol6/xml/CFR-2009-title49-vol6-sec523-2.xml

      Light Truck:

      http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2009-title49-vol6/xml/CFR-2009-title49-vol6-sec523-5.xml

      CAFE: SUPER complicated, but basically companies have to meet one sales weighted average for “Passenger Automobiles” and one sales weighted average for “Light Trucks”. Or pay a fine. Getting the Q3 in the light truck pool will allow for more big engine Q7 sales.

      Unlike most Mercedes and BMWs all Audis (except the R8) have the engine block entirely in front of the front axle line. It looks like the big shnozes finally caught up with them.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Another way to put it: The EPA cuts some slack for trucks, and automakers try to use that difference as a type of loophole in order to produce more low-MPG vehicles.

        If there’s no point in bringing it here as a “car”, then the Q3 must be a loss leader of sorts. Apparently, its profit potential isn’t high enough to bother with it on its own.

      • 0 avatar
        CH1

        “CAFE: SUPER complicated, but basically companies have to meet one sales weighted average for “Passenger Automobiles” and one sales weighted average for “Light Trucks”. Or pay a fine. Getting the Q3 in the light truck pool will allow for more big engine Q7 sales.”

        I don’t think that’s correct. There’s no single industry fleet average standard for either cars or trucks. The standards are defined at the individual vehicle level based on footprint; one set of standards for cars and a lower set of standards for trucks.

        The fleet average standard for a manufacturer is the sales weighted average of the standards of the vehicles actually sold by that manufacturer. That figure is then compared to the sales weighted average of the fuel economy of the vehicles actually sold by the manufacturer to determine compliance.

        Vehicle A compensates for Vehicle B that doesn’t meet its standard only if Vehicle A’s fuel economy exceeds its own standard. Sometimes a lower-mpg vehicle compensates for another with higher mpg.

        Audi needs the Q3 to be classified as a truck because it would not meet the standard for a car with the same footprint, regardless of the Q7.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Or no one would be willing to eat the Gas Guzzler tax for a Q3, unlike the M3. Then again, not too many did for that rare bird.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Wow. So I wonder if they’re just gonna jack up the suspension a little and call it a day? Of course the higher center of gravity will hurt the handling and fuel economy but aren’t regulations wonderful?!?!?

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      They could have just offered a robust station wagon, you know.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        (I was being sarcastic, I love wagons myself. I’m poking fun at the kind of regulations that do things like classify the PT Cruiser as a truck.)

        My money is on them pulling a Subaru and jacking up the suspension so that it alters the approach angle. First generation Outback – legally a wagon. Later generations of Outback? Legally a CUV. Biggest change? Ride height.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Here comes rollover risks!

      Is this still Tiguan/Golf chassis?

      • 0 avatar
        Sam P

        “Here comes rollover risks!”

        Oh please. This is not an Isuzu Trooper.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          There is a rollover warning sticker on the sunvisor of my Encore which has recently seen 39 mph on a full tank of gas. With it pulling hard to the left with the rear cradle out of alignment and the front left camber too much positive camber. Four-oh here we come for the most efficient AWD, gasoline vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            wmba

            ” There is a rollover warning sticker on the sunvisor of my Encore which has recently seen 39 mph on a full tank of gas. With it pulling hard to the left with the rear cradle out of alignment and the front left camber too much positive camber.”

            Really? I recently saw 62mph in second gear in my Subaru Legacy GT on only one-eighth of a tank of gas, like this morning, and its alignment is spot on. Not only that, it gets 50mpg downhill in fifth with a following wind with the spinaker set, and there is no rollover warning sticker on my sun visor.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    Time to put up a suicide watch in tanning salons all over the East Coast.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Kill CAFE. Burn it with gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      The automakers have a habit of buying into bad ideas in exchange for loopholes. I see no authority vested in Congress to mandate it, since it doesn’t directly involve health (air quality) or safety. It was part of a government goal to limit/reduce dependence on foreign oil, and private industry shouldn’t be legally bound to help promote a government goal except in wartime.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Well theres always the Tiguan for Golf buyers that want…whatever Tiguans add. Q3s just a Buick’d variant.

    Its a bit pathetic how car companies haved tackled CAFE, just using it as an excuse to bloat everything.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Let’s just call all cars ‘trucks’ and be done with it already.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Are Americans really clamoring for a tiny, diesel powered Audi CUV anyway? How many? I can’t think of anyone who’d want one of these. I *can* however think of several people who’ve told me they’d pay $70K+ for a REAL Audi Allroad (A6 Avant based with air suspension), not the lame, jacked up A4 Allroad that we got as a “replacement” for the old car.

    Audi won’t sell us that, but they’re happy to bring over a car which outside of CA and a few NE states will probably sell in single digits a month. Lovely.

    • 0 avatar
      matador

      Heck- I’d pay money for a real A6 Avant. We get a shrunk version of the Allroad, and an A6 Sedan. Thanks CAFE for removing the A6 Avant (and pretty much every other wagon, other than Subarus) from the U.S. Lineup since the 2012 model year. What a great program!

      • 0 avatar
        cdnsfan27

        You would matador but unfortunately you are one of the few. We have a 2013 and a 2014 Allroad at my dealership and people are interested until they see the price “48K for a small wagon?” then I walk them over to our Subaru dealership:)

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        At least there is still the Jetta wagon. If only we still had the Passat Wagon. Audi’s are pricey to own, but I think they’re worth every penny.

        Granted, though, Subaru’s are a lot cheaper!

        I’m old fashioned, though. If there was a new Country Squire or Roadmaster wagon with RWD and a V8, sign me up!

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Ten minutes with a Sawzall applied to that front bumper cover and problem solved, redneck style.
    Yes, I have used a Sawzall on a car, an Audi in fact. But not as suggested above.

  • avatar
    mrhappypants

    Doesn’t bringing it in as a truck subject it to the chicken tax?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Doesn’t bringing it in as a truck subject it to the chicken tax?”

      No. The definition of a truck used by the EPA for fuel economy is not the same definition used by Customs and Border Protection for setting tariffs.

      Under CBP rules, it should be a car. Having four doors and a passenger car-styl interior for the rear seats would qualify it as a car for tariff purposes.

    • 0 avatar
      gettysburg

      Only if it comes without backseats.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    So there is actually a clause in cafe standards that require trucks to have a certain approach angle?
    Allow me to suggest they increase that angle to at minimum 25 degree to get actual trucks to perform truck tasks off pavement.
    For reference a
    GMT800 SUV had 19.7 degrees
    A 2014 silverado has 15 degrees
    An H2 GMT820 has 44 degrees

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      For the .0005% of trucks that are ever driven farther off-road than a gravel parking lot?

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        What immediately came to my mind was the new Sierra I saw yesterday scrape the air dam leaving the parking lot at the mall while watching cars go over it without problem.

        Also I haven’t actually measured or looked it up but I believe the current F150 has an air dam closer to the ground then the hybrid fusion. The ford dealer here has the two side by side and I can’t help but notice that it “appears” that way. Again I don’t know for sure.

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    … and this is why we can’t have another A3 5-dr sportback. Thanks CAFE!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do know what I’m about to write will stir the hearts of the TTAC UAW crowd and the ‘Amercian Exceptionalists’.

    But what is a truck in the US? The US appears to have difficulty identifying a truck.

    Is a truck as described under the Chicken Tax? Is a truck as CAFE/EPA would like you to think a truck is.

    So how is it that two US federally controlled functions can’t come to an agreement on what a truck is? Is there some kind of communication deficiency between government bodies in the US?

    Is a truck a PT Cruiser? You know the PT Cruiser FE figures are used in conjunction with pickups to give the Corporate Average Fuel Economy for pickups. It was used to reduce the average FE figures for pickups.

    So then if the PT Cruiser is a truck why is it that vehicles that the EPA deem as trucks attract the Chicken Tax?

    Why doesn’t the US come up with a better system? If the US really wants to reduce energy consumption and emissions there are much better and cheaper models to use.

    These models would also be much more effective and save the tax payers literally billions of dollars that the US can’t afford since it’s totally reliant on borrowings to exist at the moment.

    This whole farcical system of barriers, tariffs, etc must be dismantled to save the US consumer billions of dollars.

    Why not just have no rules other than emission rules across the board for all vehicles. One set of rules. Why doesn’t the world do this.

    If you want to reduce fuel consumption then use tax on fuel. So, heavy fuel usage will be discouraged. Use tax concession after the fact, so if you buy a pickup for work you can then claim the money. If you buy the pickup for personal use you don’t get those benefits of a business.

    Leave the emissions regulations in place so everyone doesn’t end up driving the modern equivalent of a Trabant.

    If the government doesn’t want imports from a particular country, then let it be a political and diplomatic reason.

    Maybe a better designed model would be better. But what will all of those public/civil servants do?

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      I’m going to go with statism and corruption, Big Al.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Of course. There’s no need to bother doing any research on the topic, when we can just howl about “corruption” and “statism.”

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          You know it all, Ruggles 101

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            The obsession with this topic by people who aren’t the least bit effected by it just doesn’t seem normal.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2Me
            I don’t know if it will affect ruggles101 or not. That’s a good question you put forward.

            Judging by his reactions all of the time he seems to be quite emotive on the issue.

            So what’s your view on this topic? You are passing judgement on on Pch101 and not the subject.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I was making a personal observation about obsessing over a subject that doesn’t personally effect the obsessors in a significant manor

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Al is convinced that Holden would be a success story if it wasn’t for US regulations.

            Apparently, the world has an immense appetite for Australian cars. The world just doesn’t know it yet.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Two words: carbon tax. Simple and effective.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @BAFO – US regulations aren’t perfect, but from Day ONE, you’ve been on this maniacal, false information crusade aimed squarely at American autos and American way of life. It’s clear yourself and your partner “RobertRyan” have some deep emotional issues and hatred of all things American. And where exactly is RR? Did he ban himself? Either way, it reinforces the stereotype of how Aussies feel about Americans. People that have been to OZ tell me never to go. But you tell me…

      The legal definition or designation of “Trucks” covers a big umbrella of SUVs, Vans, minivans, cross overs and pickups, all exempt from the Gas Guzzler tax. The Chicken tax doesn’t go by a separate or different definition for “trucks”, but it only applies to trucks meant to haul cargo exclusively.


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