Audi has released information on the production-ready RS Q3, which will debut in Geneva next month. It’s the first of Audi’s Q series to wear RS badging and overall it looks pretty good, that’s if a balls-out smallish SUV floats your boat.
The RS Q3 is powered by Audi’s noted 2.5 litre inline 5 cylinder turbo, also found in the TT RS. Although in Q3 guise the five-pot has been reined in to produce 228kW/420Nm, down from 250kW/450Nm in the TT.
Despite a porky 1730kg kerbweight Audi says the RS Q3 can reach 100km/h in 5.5 seconds and, if you potter about slowly in front of your child’s school showing off to the other mums, you can sip fuel at just 8.8l/100km. That task will be made a bit easier, too, thanks to the standard 7-speed S tronic.
Last year Audi presented the RS Q3 concept and sadly from that model we’ve lost an exhaust tip and some power. The single oval tip doesn’t work as well in our opinion. Having said that, the styling of the RS Q3 is smart and straight from the Audi RS playbook. It’s squat appearance, accentuated by the 25mm drop in ride height, gives the RS Q3 a sense of purpose; even if it may not actually have one.
The RS Q3 is coming to Australia early next year and while Audi Australia is keeping mum about the price they have revealed it will be the first RS model sold here for less than $100,000.
Pencil in a starting price of $99,990 then.
We never did get around to finishing that review on the Q3 2.0 TFSI quattro we drove last year (shame on us), but up to about seven tenths the Q3 surprised with its general handling capabilities. Beyond that things became a little mushy. We expect the engineers from quattro GmbH will have sorted those issues to a degree, let’s hope it hasn’t come at the expense of general comfort.
First RS model in the Q series: Audi RS Q3
- Audi RS Q3 boasts powerful 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder engine with 228 kW
- 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds and fuel economy of 8.8 l/100km
- Scheduled for Australian arrival in Q1, 2014, the RS Q3 will be the first-ever Audi RS model under $100,000
Audi is presenting the first RS model for the successful Q line-up at the Geneva International Motor Show. The new Audi RS Q3 combines outstanding everyday practicality with dynamic driving performance. It takes just 5.5 seconds to complete the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h and its top speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h. The 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo produces 228 kW and has an average fuel consumption of just 8.8 litres per 100 km.
â€œThe RS Q3 transfers the performance philosophy of Audi to the compact SUV segment, thereby creating a new performance class,â€ says Franciscus van Meel, Managing Director of quattro GmbH.
â€œIn addition to the RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback, the RS Q3 is the fourth RS model that we are launching on the market in 2013. The RS family is growing to eight members â€“ more than ever.â€
The RS Q3 combines typical RS properties such as high performance and driving pleasure with lifestyle qualities and high utility value. The Audi RS Q3 was developed by quattro GmbH which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG.
An award-winning high-performance engine, the 2.5 TFSI, is at work under the bonnet of the RS Q3. This five-cylinder engine has been named â€œInternational Engine of the Yearâ€ in its class for three consecutive years since 2010 by an international jury of automotive specialists. From 2,480 cc of engine displacement, the turbocharged direct-injection engine produces a maximum power of 228 kW at 5,200-6,700 rpm; its maximum torque of 420 Nm is available between 1,500 and 5,200 rpm. These two values signify that the RS Q3 is unrivaled in its competitive field. This five-cylinder is a special engine, beginning with its fundamental concept. It is familiar from the TT RS and RS 3 Sportback, and quattro GmbH modified it for use in the RS Q3.
The 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence, supported by the geometry of the air induction and exhaust systems, generates a sporty engine sound that first made Audi popular back in the 1980s.
Drivers can influence the flap control for the exhaust system and the accelerator characteristic by choosing one of the modes auto, comfort and dynamic using the standard Audi drive select system. In the dynamic mode, engine response is sharper and the engine sound more intensive.
The 2.5 TFSI accelerates the Audi RS Q3 from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds â€“ the best performance value in this segment. The vehicleâ€™s top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. In the RS Q3, the Audi five-cylinder engine is working together with a standard Start-Stop-System for the first time. Other efficiency measures such as a regulated oil pump, which only pumps lubricant when needed, contribute to the carâ€™s low average fuel consumption of 8.8 litres of fuel per 100 km which equates to 206 grams CO2 per km.
A standard seven-speed S tronic transfers power to the drivetrain. It was designed in a compact three-shaft configuration, and its seventh gear has a long gear ratio to save on fuel. Drivers can choose between the D and S modes for automatic shifting of the dual clutch transmission, or they can shift manually â€“ using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever that sports a unique RS design. The Launch Control function controls acceleration from a standstill to attain optimal traction.
The heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is the hydraulically operated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch located at the rear axle. It ensures proper distribution of torque between the front and rear axles.
The Audi RS Q3 impresses with dynamic and stable handling without sacrificing comfort. The RS sports suspension lowers the body of the compact high-performance SUV by 25 mm. The battery is located in the luggage compartment to achieve better weight distribution. The independent rear wheel suspensions are controlled by four links.
The electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering system operates very efficiently, conveying a stiff, precise steering feeling. An electro-mechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are also standard.
In the RS Q3, the internally ventilated and perforated brake discs at the front wheels have a wave design with wave-shaped outer contours, which saves approx. one kilogram of weight at the front wheels. The discs have a diameter of 365 mm, and they are gripped by eight-piston calipers painted black with RS logos. The electronic stabilization control (ESC) has a sport mode, and it can also be deactivated entirely.
In addition to its engine, the Audi RS Q3 also demonstrates its special status within the Q3 line-up with a number of visual highlights. RS-specific design details emphasise the confident look of the compact, high-performance SUV. They consist of body accents and roof rails in matt aluminium, special door sill plates and door trim strips, a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, RS front bumper and quattro emblem in the front air intake. A large roof spoiler, rear bumper with distinctive diffuser insert, large elliptical tailpipe and an RS Q3 logo at the rear. At a length of 4,410 mm, the dynamic top model is 25 mm longer than the Audi Q3 and weighs in at 1,730 kg.
The Audi RS Q3 can also be customised by one of two optional styling packages â€“ matt aluminum or black. Styling features include the flaps in the side air intakes, the trim on the diffuser and the fins on the roof spoiler.
The Audi RS Q3 is available in eight exterior colors, including the exclusive Sepang Blue pearl effect.
The sporty lines of the exterior are continued in the interior styling. The instrument cluster has grey gauges with white scales and red pointers. Contrasting stitching in rock gray trim the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with its flat bottom as well as the gear selector lever. The MMI and driver information system displays welcome the driver with the RS logo. Drivers can call up the boost pressure, oil temperature and a lap timer via the RS menu in the driver information system.
Along with the pedals, a foot support also shines in aluminum look, and the standard inlays are in piano finish black. quattro GmbH offers aluminum race or carbon as alternatives here. Black headlining is standard, and lunar silver headlining is optional.
Sport seats with embossed RS Q3 logos are also standard and are upholstered in black Alcantara/leather. Customers can also choose the optional Fine Nappa leather in black or lunar silver with contrasting stitching in rock gray or the design package with diamond stitching.
The cargo area has a base capacity of 356 litres, which can be increased to 1,261 litres by folding down the split rear seat backs. A practical reversible loadliner is standard. Those wishing to transport even more cargo can order the towing bracket that is offered for the RS Q3.
Other standard features of the Audi RS Q3 include â€“ in addition to the RS-specific driver information system â€“ park assist plus, Audi sound system with ten loudspeakers, xenon plus headlights and LED tail lights. When they are not lit, the tail lights display a dark red tint.
In the infotainment area, a modular component system offers a wide range of options. At the top there is the hard-drive based navigation system, MMI Navigation plus. The surround sound system from BOSE drives 14 loudspeakers with up to 465 watts of output power. Highly advanced driver assistance systems round out the options program.
Australian introduction and pricing
Exact pricing and specification for the RS Q3 will be announced closer to its Australian introduction in the first quarter of 2014. However, customers can expect the RS Q3 to be first Audi RS model to be priced under $100,000 in Australia.