So if the Audi RS Q3 wasn’t hot and sensible enough for you – which it still is, not sensible that is, then the folks at Ingolstadt have just the remedy for you. Behold, the 2016 Audi RS Q3 Performance.
This Performance model sits at the top of the Q3 lineup, just like the range toppers RS6 Avant and RS7 Performance duo that were launched not too long ago. Of course, to be at the top you have to have what it takes, and this RS Q3 Performance has a few things to shout about.
First off, it’s powered by the same award-winning turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI engine, but makes 27 horsepower more for a grand total of 362 hp thanks to a new fuel pump and the radiator’s improved cooling capacity. Peak torque is rated at 465 Nm and is available from 1,625 to 5,550 rpm. But how fast can it sprint? It will do 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.4 seconds – about 0.4 seconds quicker than the ‘standard’ RS Q3, before maxing out at 270 km/h. The run-off-the-mill RS Q3 had its top speed electrically limited to 250 km/h.
Besides having a hotter engine, the Performance moniker also comes with a quicker-shifting seven-speed close-ratio dual clutch transmission that sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s quattro technology.
A new set of RS suspension lowers ride height by 20mm over the standard RS Q3, though the damper controls can be optioned for. This allows the driver to alter dynamic parameters between the Comfort, Auto or Dynamic drive modes.
There are also several distinguishing parts externally, such as the RS-specific front bumper with large air intakes and aggressively styled diffuser for the rear. The matte titanium finish around the car is also an exclusive touch to the Performance variant, but this shade of Ascari Blue Metallic paint job is perhaps the most telling differentiation.
Rounding off the Performance package are 20-inch Performance Exclusive alloy wheels, red RS callipers, sports seats wrapped in a mix of leather and Alcantara, carbon twill blue inlays and more blue-accented elements within the cabin.
The Audi RS Q3 Performance is now on sale in the UK with a starting price of £49,175 (about RM295k as per current exchange rates). In Malaysia, the Q3 is offered in two flavours – a 1.4 TFSI and 2.0 TFSI quattro, with pricing starting from RM218k.