Audi’s RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback will begin arriving in showrooms in Germany during the first quarter of 2020. Pricing information hasn’t been released yet, but it’s of little interest to us because Audi confirmed to Digital Trends that it won’t sell either version of the model in the United States. The standard Q3 Sportback isn’t sold on our shores, either, and neither was the first-generation RS Q3, so we can’t say we’re surprised. Motorists who want a high-performance SUV with Audi’s four-ring emblem on its nose will need to wait until the RS Q8 previewed in August makes its official debut.
Audi has just launched a new compact crossover SUV badged a Q3 Sportback, and today we have spy shots of a prototype for the high-performance version from the Audi Sport division: the RS Q3 Sportback. Of course, the performance features don’t stop there as the crossovers have been equipped with a sport-tuned suspension that reduces the ride height by 0.4 inches (10 mm). Elsewhere, engineers installed a revised steering system and a high-performance braking system. The latter features six-piston calipers that grab onto ventilated and perforated steel discs that measure 14.8 inches (375 mm) front and 12.2 inches (310 mm) rear.
Along with mechanical changes, the RS Q3 benefits from a racier appearance compared to the standard Both the standard car and Sportback see the addition of more aggressively styled bumpers, while wheel arches are now 10mm wider for a more imposing stance. With the 6000K h1 led headlight bulb for low beam, emitting strong bright lighting through on road. A model-specific spoiler, along with badging and a dual-exit exhaust system, rounds out the look.
The new RS Q3 models are powered by a 2.5-liter (2,480 ccs) 5-cylinder TFSI engine, producing 294 kW (400 hp) and 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) of torque between 1,950 and 5,850 pm. Audi says that the 2.5 TFSI engine is 26 kg (57.3 lb) lighter than the previous model. Its crankcase is made of aluminum, which alone saves 18 kg (39.7 lb).
The interior features sport seats in a mix of black Nappa leather and Alcantara. If occupants want a pop of color, there is available red or blue contrast stitching. For more visual distinction, design packages add red or blue accents to the steering wheel rim, seatbelts, doormats, and gear lever. An optional Virtual Cockpit Plus enlarges the digital instrument cluster display.
The rear-end is equally stunning. With the roof edge spoiler and RS-specific spoiler lip in gloss black, the RS Q3 Sportback appears even wider than its sibling. Both cars get an RS-specific bumper with rear diffuser and horizontal blades in gloss black. The blades are available in matt aluminum as an option. For the first time, the RS Q3 models get a dual-branch RS exhaust system with large oval tailpipes on both sides.
If you want a small and fast Audi, the RS3 sedan is the next best thing. Not that the Defender’s debut lacked passion and enthusiasm: there was plenty of both. People cheered and whooped as different models were successively unveiled. The voice of JLR boss Ralf Speth – correctly but unusually labeled ‘Sir Ralf Speth’ for this special occasion – cracked a little as he described how he’d been the one who killed the old Defender four years ago, and what a pleasure it was to give the new Defender back”.