It’s a weird world we live in today. Consumers are constantly looking for more versatility with an SUV, yet still crave for the performance akin to a proper sports car.
Fear not though, Audi has got you covered with the latest addition to their performance SUV range, the new Audi RS Q3. Available in two forms (regular and sportback), the RS Q3 aims to scratch your performance itch in a SUV-dominated market.
Powered by the award-winning 2.5-litre TFSI 5-cylinder turbocharged engine, the RS Q3 outputs 400 hp and 480 Nm to all four wheels via 7-speed S tronic gearbox.
The 2.5-litre engine from the TT RS and RS3 has also gone through a weight-loss regime – shredding a whole 26 kg. Combining with the 17% higher output, the RS Q3 sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds! Mind you, the recently launched Toyota Supra, which is a full-blown sports car, does it only 0.2 seconds quicker.
The new RS Q3 twins pushes up to an electronically-limited 250 km/h top speed, but if you spec it right, you can push the envelope to 280 km/h.
To complement its raw performance, Audi has also replaced the suspensions with something a little sportier. The new suspension lowers the car by 10 mm, and its track widened by approximately 10 mm as well.
Additionally, the RS Q3 can be now equipped with optional 21-inch wheels, with 20-inch alloys as standard. Behind those wheels are the 6-pot RS brake system, available in both steel or the optional ceramic disks. Perhaps buyers should consider purchasing the optional red painted calipers to show that you’ve got the performance model.
If you are looking for more performance, the RS Q3 twins can also now be fitted with the RS sport suspension plus along with the optional Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) system.
Styling wise, the performance-oriented twins get RS-specific design cues, including a new front bumper with glossblack honeycomb grille, RS-specific boomerang shaped side-inlet blades, and gloss-black spoiler lip. The wheel arches has also been flared out by 10 mm to give the SUV a sportier stance.
The difference between the two sister cars can be seen from the side profile – the sloping roofline of the RS Q3 Sportback results in a 45 mm lower height. The shoulder line also extends further back, giving the Sportback a slightly more muscular look than the twin.
At the rear, the Audi Sport SUVs comes for the first time with dual-branch RS exhaust system, with chrome-coloured oval exhaust tips on both sides. Both variants will be fitted with Matrix LED headlights and LED rear combination lights as standard.
Inside the RS Q3 lies the familiar driver-focused interior. However, the RS models gets several sporty upgrades, such as Nappa leather or alcantara-wrapped bucket seats, and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Optional RS packages can also be had to add red or blue accents to several parts in the cabin, such as alcantara door lining, steering wheel, belt straps, floor mats and gear lever.
The brilliant Audi virtual cockpit instrument panel makes a return on the RS variants, with an optional larger Audi virtual cockpit plus which adds shift lights, and performance-oriented displays on the centre touchscreen.
Being a sports car requires outlandish paint jobs, and Audi Sport graciously made available two RS-specific colours – Nardo Grey and in our opinion the magnificent Kalyami Green.
There’s no word from Audi Malaysia if the RS Q3 twins will be making their way to our shores, but the performance SUVs will be available in European dealerships by the end of the year.
We will take one RS Q3 Sportback in Kalyami green, please.