Audi Sport has just revealed the second generation of the RS Q3 SUV and the first generation of the RS Q3 Sportback SUV-Coupé. In essence, both models feature mechanical and cosmetic updates over the standard Q3 and Q3 Sportback and make them more performance-focused.
In terms of styling, both models have 10mm wider wheel arches (the track remains unchanged), a customised front grille with a single-frame design and sculpted air intakes in the redesigned front bumper. While the intakes are designed to reflect the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback, they feature a ‘boomerang’ design that is unique to the two RS Q3 models.
The differences between the RS Q3 and the RS Q3 Sportback are more apparent from the side, with the Sportback’s sloping coupé-style roof making it 45mm lower than the RS Q3. It also has a lower shoulder line, designed to emphasise the car’s stance. The RS Q3 Sportback gains its own rear-wing design, and a bespoke rear bumper and diffuser, which are designed to set it apart at the back and make the car appear even wider. As with the RS Q3, the Sportback features twin exhausts.
Coming to the interiors, both models offer black leather and Alcantara sports seats, a bespoke leather-covered sport steering wheel featuring new paddleshifters and bespoke multi-function buttons. There are also a number of Audi Sport-exclusive options on the Drive Select and infotainment system. A number of RS details (and more) are also available – including Nappa leather seats with integrated head restraints – via various customisation options.
Mechanically, the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback feature the same 2.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine from the first-generation RS Q3, and which is also used in the TT RS. Though it has now been tuned to produce 400hp; as compared to the previous model's 340hp output (367hp for the Performance variant) with 480Nm of torque available between 1,950-5,850rpm. This translates to both cars completing the 0-100kph sprint in just 4.5sec and going on to hit a 250kph top speed (can be increased to 280kph with the performance pack).
Power is delivered to all four wheels through a 7-speed automatic gearbox, with wheel-selective torque control to aid traction and handling. Audi’s Drive Select system features six modes, including two bespoke RS options accessible via a button on the steering.
Both models also sit 10mm lower than the regular Q3 and Q3 Sportback and feature sport suspension and Audi’s Dynamic Chassis Control as standard. They also feature specially tuned progressive steering, with a choice of 20- or 21-inch wheels and steel or ceramic brake discs.
These two models will kick off a major expansion of Audi Sport’s SUV range, which is set to continue with a range-topping version of the RS Q8 SUV.
Rivals for the RS Q3 include the Mercedes-AMG GLA45 and BMW X3 M, while the RS Q3 Sportback is aimed more to take on the BMW X4 M.
2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback image gallery
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