The owner of this lifted Audi Q3 S-line maximized the off-road capabilities of his CUV with BF Goodrich All Terrain tires to hit local trails. Fitted with roof rack, awning, LED light bar and other overland inspired accessories.
We at Offroadium.com have the distinct pleasure of introducing to you a compact crossover that’s rarely sighted amidst rocky trails and dirt tracks: the 2022 Audi Q3 Quattro. More at home in urban jungles, the Q3 might raise a few eyebrows as a choice for an off-road enthusiast. Yet, this particular example we found not only stands tall on off-road trails, it’s done so without losing its original German charm.
Outfitted with oversized BF Goodrich All Terrain tires and a few cool overland-style upgrades, this compact SUV shows up on the trails only seen by common off-road trucks and 4x4a.
“The trend of tailoring crossovers for off-road use is a relatively new yet increasingly popular choice in the world of automotive adventures. Crossovers, or CUVs (Compact Utility Vehicles), bring to the table a unique set of attributes that make them a rather intriguing choice for the off-road and overland fans”.
Primarily, their compact form-factor coupled with a robust all-wheel-drive system makes them a deft navigator of narrow trails and tight spots where larger vehicles might struggle.
Their inherent on-road manners, ensure that a weekend spent barreling down dirt trails does not compromise the weekday office commute.
“Enhanced fuel efficiency is another trump card that crossovers play, making them not just fun but also fuel-efficient adventure partners. Essentially, they are the Swiss Army Knives of the automotive world – ready to carve up both the workweek commute and the weekend trails”.
Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen, collectively known as VAG (Volkswagen AG), have been making their mark in the world of off-roading lately. Their all-wheel-drive wagons and crossovers, popular for their impeccable engineering and versatility, have garnered a dedicated fan following among off-road enthusiasts. The reasons are ranging from their advanced AWD systems to the luxury and comfort they offer, which are often unmatched by conventional off-road vehicles.
Here at Offroadium, we’ve featured numerous Touareg, Cayenne, and Q7 projects that have made their way from the showroom floor to the unpaved tracks. However, it’s the first time we’re laying our hands on a Q3, a compact offering from Audi that’s more known for its urban agility than off-road prowess.
“The relative rarity of a Q3 in off-road circles means aftermarket support is limited, pushing owners to be more creative in their modifications, which for gearheads, is a welcome challenge”.
The Audi Q3 Quattro is quite a gem in the lineup of Audi’s crossover SUVs. Fitted with the renowned Quattro all-wheel-drive system, it offers tremendous grip and stability, both on and off the tarmac. Combined with the car’s compact dimensions and robust 2.0L turbocharged engine, the Q3 Quattro is a formidable tool for navigating both the concrete jungle and the wilderness.
The Q3 Off-road & Overland Build
A key highlight of this unique off-road build is the set of 17×8 ET10 Black Rhino Chase Wheels wrapped in chunky 225/65/17 BF Goodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires. The potent combination of these rugged wheels and all-terrain tires not only provides an aggressive stance but also ensures superior grip on challenging off-road terrains.
Interestingly, this Q3 hasn’t undergone a traditional lift, unlike many off-road conversions. This hasn’t hampered its off-road capabilities though, largely thanks to the oversized tires, which give it the needed ground clearance for off-road forays.
Gear and Off-road Accessories
The pièce de résistance of this Q3 build is undoubtedly its array of off-road accessories. The roof boasts Turtle Air2 cross bars, a roof rack, and a practical awning for those restful moments in the wilderness.
“The Linear-36 light bar from Triple R Lights controlled via a wireless remote, ensures the path ahead is always illuminated, while the dual Wolf Pack boxes from Front Runner Outfitters provide ample storage for long journeys”.
For communications, a set of Midland USA GMRS radios keep the Q3 connected, while the VIAIR 88P air pump & tire deflator ensure the tires are always at their optimal pressure. A Garmin dash cam keeps a watchful eye on every thrilling moment of the journey.
How did you become interested in off-roading?
– All of my other cars are lowered so I couldn’t resist. But this is the family car, we use it to go everywhere plus it needs to be road easy (instead of fearing a steep drive way, conquer!). So instead of lowering the Q3, why not focus on lifting it! This opened my eyes to a whole new side of off-roading – it wasn’t just about the Jeeps and lifted trucks. Then I came across dffrntallroad lifted Audi A4 Allroad and this settled it!
What do you love the most about your Audi Q3?
– There’s so much that I can say that I love about my Q3 honestly. But if I had to settle for the one thing, it’s when we pull up to a trail and everyone is at a stand still because they can’t believe we take our Q3 off-roading. Even though the upgrades/addons/modifications now speak for themselves, it’s great having that kind of chat and sharing that these vehicles were pretty much bred to conquer just about anything. The Off-road crowd are the best type of people, extremely helpful and nice! I’d rather drive through a trail versus the freeway to get to my destination.
“There’s so much that I can say that I love about my Q3 honestly. But if I had to settle for the one thing, it’s when we pull up to a trail and everyone is at a stand still because they can’t believe we take our Q3 off-roading”.
Why did you choose an Audi Q3 for your project?
– As my wife and I started looking for family vehicles to prepare for our first child, we ventured into the compact SUV realm. Why Audi? Well it begins with my wife as she comes from a Volkswagen family with her father having multiple air cooled VW’s throughout his lifetime and my wife’s first car the MK4 Jetta GLI.
This soon grew on me as I worked day and night on her car (haha VW’s right…kidding they are great cars that can last a lifetime when done right). So fast forward, to be honest, I had my eyes on the Tiguan. It was great, what more could you ask with plenty of people already doing great stuff to them (both lowering and lifting). But I wanted to be different (later inspired by dffrntallroad) and since Audi is part of the VW group this made the perfect choice to do just that, so we chose Audi.
“Why Audi? Well it begins with my wife as she comes from a Volkswagen family with her father having multiple air cooled VW’s throughout his lifetime and my wife’s first car the MK4 Jetta GLI. This soon grew on me as I worked day and night on her car (haha VW’s right…kidding they are great cars)”.
What was the most difficult part of the build?
– The most difficult part of this build is that there is limited production for direct-fit upgrades/addons/modifications focused on off-roading for the Q3 while keeping this within budget, guess you can say it’s a budget build. Our previous model the 2017 Q3 was equipped with H&R lift springs, but they explained they do not produce lift springs (yet) for the 2022 Q3 so there’s that. Lighting attachment options is another limited area. I have to think outside the box when adding anything to the car!
Specs & Mods: 2022’ Audi Q3 Quattro S-Line
- No lift
- 17×8 ET10 Black Rhino Chase Wheels
- 225/65/17 BF Goodrich All terrain KO2’s Tires
Gear & Off-road Accessories
- Turtle Air2 cross bars
- Generic roof rack
- Generic awning
- Linear-36 light bar from Triple R Lights / lazerlamps controlled via wireless remote
- Two Wolf Pack boxes from Front Runner Outfitters
- Set of Midland USA GMRS radios
- VIAIR 88P air pump & VIAIR tire deflator
- Garmin dash cam
This unique Audi Q3 build exemplifies the spirit of off-roading in an unconventional package. It challenges the norm, redefining what it means to take the road less traveled. With its unique blend of German engineering, thoughtful modifications, and an owner’s passion for exploring new paths, it’s a cool and inspiring testament to the endless possibilities in the world of off-roading.
Watch the progress and find out more about this Aui Q3 project by visiting the Instagram profile of the owner: @allterrainq3!
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Matt is a professional mechanic, experienced off-roader, writer and founder of Offroadium. With over 15 years immersed in the off-road community and 100,000+ miles logged on rugged trails across the Americas, Grabli shares extensive real-world knowledge. He previously worked as an automotive technician before shifting focus to specialty off-road projects. His passion is prepping capable rigs for off-roading and helping others to build the 4x4s of their dreams.