Our Peeping Tom spy photographers normally catch prototypes while they’re out and about on the street, but sometimes they catch a peek inside automakers’ development studios from the street, snagging shots of test mules before their tires even touch the ground. This is one such case, and though these photos aren’t clear as day, it’s no secret that Audi’s new Q3 crossover, based on the Volkswagen Tiguan, is what’s being prepped behind closed doors (but not behind closed blinds).
We’ve known that Audi would be creating a CUV smaller than the Q5 for quite some time now, and while the baby soft-roader relies heavily on Tiguan underpinnings, we’re sure that the quad-rung crossover will be much more shapely. Here, we see the sloping roofline and more rakish hatch, giving the Q3 a sportier stance than its VW-badged kin. Set to compete head-on with the BMW X1, the Q3 should make its debut sometime in 2011 with the first production models hitting dealers later that year.