This is the new Audi Q3 Sportback, a more design-led, more coupé-inspired version of the firm’s popular Q3 compact SUV. It goes on sale in the UK next month, with deliveries expected this autumn.

The newcomer builds on the success of the regular Q3 – almost 170,000 of which were sold last year – and arrives with plenty of rivals in the shape of the BMW X2Mercedes GLA and Mazda CX-30.

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Measured up to the parcel shelf, boot space is 530 litres – exactly the same as you’ll find in the regular Q3, despite the more sloping roofline. The rear bench seats three and slides forward to open up a little extra space, or it can be folded down flat, opening up 1,400 litres of room.

Every Q3 Sportback will get black high-gloss exterior detailing and 17-inch alloy wheels as standard. Colour-contrast body cladding in grey will also be the default choice, but customers will be able to choose a solid colour as a no-cost option on higher-spec S line models.

The Q3 Sportback will also be offered with sports suspension, which customers will be able to delete at no extra cost in favour of a softer set-up. Audi Drive Select is also standard, with comfort, dynamic, efficiency and off-road settings for the powertrain, transmission, traction control, steering and suspension. Adaptive dampers are available as an option.

As for engines, one petrol and two diesel offerings are being prepared for launch, while a new 1.5-litre petrol mild-hybrid engine will be introduced not long after.

The launch 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol is badged 45 TFSI and develops 227bhp, with power sent to a quattro all-wheel-drive system via a seven-speed automatic gearbox.

It’s joined in the line-up by two 2.0-litre turbodiesel models: the 35 TDI with 148bhp and the 40 TDI that develops 187bhp. The more powerful car gets quattro and an auto gearbox as standard, while this will be optional on the 35 TDI, which gets front-wheel drive and a six-speed manual.

The entry-level 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol with 48-volt mild-hybrid assistance will launch later. Badged 35 TFSI, this new engine is mated to a belt-starter-generator, enabling prolonged engine-off coasting, while at low and medium loads the engine can run on two cylinders. Like the 35 TDI, it will be front-wheel drive and fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but with quattro and the S tronic seven-speed auto as an optional extra.

The Sportback’s dashboard and interior layout is copied from the regular Q3, with a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster standard on every car alongside a 10.1-inch central touchscreen. Audi’s full-size 12.3-inch customisable digital Virtual Cockpit display is optional.

Given the new car’s positioning as a sportier, more desirable alternative to the regular Q3, and its slightly enhanced standard equipment, a Sportback should cost around £1,200 more than the equivalent standard Q3, which translates into a starting price of around £32,000.

What do you think of the new Audi Q3 Sportback? Let us know in the comments section below…

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