Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback revealed
The all-new Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback have been revealed – giving you two separate ways to transfer your family, and their kit, very quickly indeed. Here’s everything you need to know…
Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback performance SUVs
Five-cylinder, 400hp engine and sports suspension
Price and release date
approx. £53,000; early 2020
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This is the Audi RS Q3 and coupe-roofed Sportback spinoff. Both have space for four and their stuff, performance to humble sports cars and produce a noise that makes a McLaren supercar sound ordinary. Here’s everything you need to know.
Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback styling
The RS Q3 might not look as striking as a full-blown RS4 or RS6 – but there’s still plenty to give the game away that it’s not a standard Q3.
Starting with the grille. It does away with the vertical chrome rungs in the standard Q3 and replaces them with menacing honeycomb black plastic inserts, although the most obvious give away is the RSQ3 badge that sits off-centre.
On either side of the grille, you get LED headlights as standard – Matrix LEDs are cost options – while a quattro-style vent sits above and below you get a huge front splitter.
There’s a similar air of menace around the sides of the car where the wheel arches have been stretched by 10mm and you can have alloy wheels up to 21-inches in size, although 20-inch wheels come as standard.
The big wheels are needed to accommodate uprated brakes with six-piston calipers biting down onto 375mm drilled and ventilated discs up front, while at the back you get 310mm ventilated discs. They can also be swapped for fade-resistant ceramic discs (380mm front, 310mm at the back).
There’s no mistaking this is the RS Q3 even from the back, not least because it gets a pair of huge oval exhaust pipes. On top of that, you get an RS-specific rear bumper and roof spoiler.
Fancy an even sportier look? Then you can have all of the above but attached to a Q3 Sportback body which sacrifices a little bit of rear-seat headroom in favour of a sloping coupe-style roofline.
Both models are available with a choice of eight paint finishes – including RS-specific Kyalami Green and Nardo Grey – and you can also spec an aluminium exterior pack. It swaps the standard glossy black plastic exterior trims for an aluminium finish on various parts of the car’s exterior including around the doors and in the bumpers.
Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback engine and performance
The most exciting part of the RS Q3 (and the RS Q3 Sportback) is undoubtedly its engine.
It’s a five-cylinder 2.5-litre pumping out 400hp – 17% more power than before – and 480Nm of torque, which is enough to get the car from 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds helped by a standard twin-clutch seven-speed gearbox and four-wheel drive.
Top speed (if you pay Audi to remove the 155mph limiter) sits at 174mph. That said, fuel economy is unlikely to better 30mpg.
What the figures can’t quantify is the glorious warble of the Audi’s five-cylinder engine, which you can make even louder by specifying the optional sports exhaust, most easily spotted by its black exhaust-tip trims.
Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback specs
To ensure the Audi RS Q3 is better to drive than a standard Q3, it gets sports suspension that is 10mm lower and progressive steering. So tighter corners require less steering input at higher speeds.
RS sport suspension with Dynamic Chassis Control is optional – kitting the car out with oil-filled dampers that can prop its body up to cancel out lean in bends but also deliver a butter-smooth ride on bumpy roads.
Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback interior
Inside, the RS Q3 has enough subtle changes to make it feel more special than a standard Q3.
Sports seats finished in leather and Alcantara come as standard or you can upgrade to softer Nappa leather. You also get a leather sports steering wheel and illuminated door sills.
Want to make your car feel sportier? Then you’ll want the RS design package. That adds contrast stitching – in either red or blue – to the seats, steering wheel, gear shifter and seat belts. Choosing this pack also gets your gear shifter and steering wheel finished in Alcantara and, if you really want, you can have the inner doors covered in red or blue Alcantara.
Finally, you can choose from aluminium, shiny-black plastic or carbon-fibre interior trim pieces.
The infotainment system has also been upgraded with RS-specific graphics, readouts for power and torque and has the ability to time 0-60mph runs and lap times.
Jazzy bits aside, the RS Q3’s interior is fundamentally the same as any other Q3’s so you get loads of space for four adults – even the Sportback model has room for tall people in the back – and a large 530-litre boot. As well sliding forward and backwards on rails and reclining, the rear seats split 40:20:40 and folded them away completely reveals a total capacity of 1,525 litres (1,400 litres in the Sportback).
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