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Audi fires up ballistic RS Q3 pair

Coupe-style Sportback joins traditional wagon in new RS Q3 performance small SUV

Audi logo26 Sep 2019

AUDI Sport has introduced another new model for 2019, this time the second-generation RS Q3 small SUV that is now available in coupe-style Sportback form alongside the traditional wagon body style.

 

Confirmed for Australia ahead of its showroom release in the second quarter of next year, the RS Q3 ups the performance ante over its predecessor with an upgraded 2.5-litre turbo-petrol five-cylinder engine.

 

Now producing an RS3-matching 294kW of power from 5850-7000rpm (+24kW) and 480Nm of torque from 1950-5850rpm (+15Nm), the RS Q3 sprints from standstill to 100km/h in 4.5 seconds in both of its guises.

 

As such, the RS Q3 is a tenth slower to triple digits than its forebear – likely due to overall weight gain that occurred despite the engine dropping 26kg thanks its increased use of aluminium – although its top speed is 10km/h higher, at 280km/h.

 

As before, the German brand’s quattro system sends drive to all four wheels, while a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is responsible for shifting gears.

 

Up to six drive modes are available, including the new RS1 and RS2 settings that allow the driver to create their own vehicle set-ups and have them accessible via an RS Mode button on the steering wheel.

 

The RS Q3’s variable-ratio steering has a unique tune, while its sports suspension (MacPherson struts up front and four links at the rear) sees it sit 10mm closer to the ground than the regular Q3. This set-up can be enhanced with extra-cost adaptive dampers.

 

The RS Q3 rolls on 20-inch alloy wheels as standard, but 21-inch items – the largest offered on an Audi Sport small SUV to date – are optional.

 

Ventilated disc brakes are tucked behind, measuring 375mm and 310mm at the front and rear respectively. The front rotors can be swapped for 380mm carbon-ceramic items for a cost. Either way, six-piston callipers feature up front.

 

The RS Q3 easily identifies itself as an Audi Sport model with its gloss-black honeycomb Singleframe grille insert, large front side air intakes, side-skirt inserts, 10mm-wider haunches and rear spoiler as well as Audi Sport’s signature oval exhaust tailpipes.

 

Two exclusive paintwork options are available (Kyalami Green and Nardo Grey) to make the RS Q3 really stand out from the Q3 crowd.

 

Inside, an RS theme for the digital instrument cluster, a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle-shifters, sports seats, and black leather and Alcantara upholstery further separate the RS Q3 from the pack.

 

While Audi Australia will confirm RS Q3 pricing closer to its launch in 2020, the current model is priced from $84,850 plus on-road costs.

 

“The first Audi RS Q3 established its own segment. We aim to continue this success story with the new generation of the compact high-performance SUV,” said Audi Sport managing director Oliver Hoffmann.

 

“With the offering of the all-new Audi RS Q3 Sportback, a progressive SUV coupe crossover, we are the trendsetter and are leveraging to the full the phenomenal growth potential for Audi Sport.”

 

The second-generation Q3 goes on sale locally next month, while its Sportback sibling is due in the first half of next year.


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