Exterior-wise, the Q3 RS Performance takes up the typical RS design details to distinguish it as the four-ring marque’s high-performance variants. These include the purposefully styled bumpers with large air inlets up front, the heavily profiled diffuser insert at the rear and the gloss black honeycomb grilles, as well as additional matt titanium-look detailing applied to the frame of the air inlet duct, Singleframe grille, lateral flaps in the air inlets, trim strips at the side windows, exterior mirror housings, roof rails, upper edge of the diffuser and fins of the roof edge spoiler. To maximize the differentiation, the new paint finish Ascari blue metallic is also exclusively available as an option for the RS Q3 performance. Additionally, equipment levels befit the RS badge, and externally include all-LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and rear lights, And lastly, 20-inch performance wheels with matt titanium finish (or black) are paired to the Q3 RS Performance.
The dynamic line of the exterior design is echoed in the interior. The dial instruments feature grey faces, white dials and red needles. Sports seats finished in Alcantara and leather with honeycomb stitching in blue, and the blue accents are also applied to elements such as the RS sport leather steering, selector lever gaiter, center armrest and floor mats. Inlays in carbon twill blue, in which a blue thread is woven into the carbon material, continue the theme into the dashboard and door mouldings. Further interior highlights include privacy glass, powered tailgate operation, Audi advanced key system, front seat heating, the Audi Music Interface with the 180-watt Sound System, satellite navigation and parking sensors.
Five-cylinder fury in the new RS Q3 performance is guaranteed by a revised version of the 2.5-liter TFSI unit which an international panel of automotive journalists has named the “International Engine of the Year” in its category six years in a row. Here, the cooling capacity of the main radiator has been increased and the fuel pump has been modified to liberate 27PS more power. Peak torque of 465 Nm is available between 1,625 and 5,550 rpm, helping the top-ranking compact SUV to break through the 100 km/h barrier from rest in just 4.4 seconds (RS Q3 4.8) and to reach a top speed of 267 km/h, yet the result of the combined consumption test is a creditable 8.8l/100km per liter (32.8mpg), which corresponds to 203 grams CO2 per km.
The seven-speed S tronic transmission with tight ratios that complement the engine’s performance characteristics can take care of extremely rapid shifts itself or leave the driver to change gears manually using the shift paddles on the standard RS multifunction steering. Furthermore, the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system smoothly delivers the engine’s power to the road via a hydraulically actuated, electronically controlled multi-plate clutch. Power is distributed automatically between the front and rear axles as needed, and even selectively to each wheel thanks to the networked Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), which features a further enhanced sport mode affording even greater adjustability.
Audi Q3 with RS-specific sports suspension
Complementing quattro is taut RS sport suspension which lowers the body by 20 mm compared with the standard Q3 and perfectly translates the propulsive power into incisive and rewarding handling. RS sport suspension plus with damper control is available as an option.