Audi Sport continues to deliver this year with the all-new RS Q3 and first-ever RS Q3 Sportback.
Just like its predecessor, the new RS Q3 packs the same engine from the RS 3 Sportback and as expected gains performance and chassis upgrades from the Audi Sport division. The RS Q3 Sportback, meanwhile, is mechanically identical and, for now at least, is Audi Sport’s first coupe SUV.
Upfront you will see the biggest changes with a much more aggressive-looking front bumper compared to the regular Q3 models. Large air vents bookend a new grille, that’s not only more inset but also features a gloss black finish and a honeycomb design, while a small slot, that sits above the grille but below the edge of the bonnet, mark out the RS version.
The wheel arches have been flared by 10mm, there is a new rear spoiler and for the first time on the RS Q3 you get the signature oval-shaped exhaust pipes. For a deeper sound, there is an optional sports exhaust system available which makes us happy.
Under the hood sits a familiar 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine delivering 400 hp (294 kW) and 480 Nm of torque. This allows both versions to sprint to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds – 0.4 seconds quicker than the previous RS Q3 but 0.1 seconds slower than the old Performance model. The top speed is limited to 250 km/h or can be bumped up to 280 km/h for an additional cost.
The five-pot engine is connected to the seven-speed S-tronic gearbox and Quattro all-wheel drive, and, as ever, there are a number of driving modes that adjust the car’s characteristics.
Both models get RS sport suspension as standard which results in the RS Q3 sitting 10mm lower than regular models. You will also get 20-inch wheels as standard but adaptive dampers and ceramic brakes are extra options.
Inside, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit comes as standard but can be upgraded to a display incorporating shift lights. Both come with RS-specific displays, which feature g-force, tyre pressure, torque and lap time information, and just like the rest of the car, there are various options for the interior. Part-leather, part-Alcantara sports seats come as standard with RS sports seats available as an option, and there are a handful of colour packages to brighten up the cabin.
The gorgeous green colour you see here is called none other than Kyalami green and is an RS-specific colour. For the Nardo grey lovers out there, you can now choose this hue for your new RS Q3.
Both models will be going on sale early in 2020, with local pricing and availability to be announced later this year.