2020 Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback revealed
Both versions of the RS Q3 feature a 395bhp 2.5-litre engine and aggressive styling
The latest Audi RS Q3 has been launched, alongside a new RS Q3 Sportback coupe SUV model. As before, the RS Q3 shares mechanical parts with the Audi RS3, but the RS Q3 is a bigger, more practical package. Prices haven’t been announced yet but we expect the cars to cost around £50,000 when they go on sale in the first few months of 2020.
As you might expect from these Audi Sport cars, the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback feature much sportier styling than the standard versions. The upgrades are most noticeable at the front end, where there’s a new inset honeycomb grille painted gloss black, two big air intakes and a slot between the grille and the shut line of the bonnet. Compared to the standard Audi Q3, the RS Q3 also gets swollen wheel arches that are 10mm wider.
The rear end includes a new, bigger roof spoiler, plus a beefier diffuser and two large oval-shaped exhaust pipes. While the previous RS Q3 only got one exhaust, this new one has two to match the other Audi RS models. Many of the changes are carried over to the Audi RS Q3 Sportback, which is said to be the sleeker version of the two cars. It gets a more discreet rear spoiler.
Providing the RS Q3’s power is the same 2.5-litre five-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol engine found in the previous model, one which is also found in the super-quick Audi RS3 hatchback. While the old car produced 335bhp, or 362bhp in RS Q3 Performance spec, the new car offers almost 400bhp. Zero to 62mph takes 4.5 seconds, which is nearly half a second quicker than the old model (albeit a tenth of a second slower than the last-gen Performance version). Given a long enough stretch of tarmac, the RS Q3 will hit a top speed of 155mph, or you can pay to have the limiter removed so it’ll do 174mph.
Just like most fast Audis, the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback have quattro four-wheel-drive and a seven-speed automatic gearbox fitted as standard. Alongside the regular driving modes, the RS Q3 models get two RS-specific driving modes. First shown on the new Audi RS7 and RS6 Avant, the RS1 and RS2 modes make the car feel more hardcore. The throttle, engine, steering, gearbox and suspension can all be firmed up.
Sports suspension is fitted as standard, sitting the cars 10mm lower than the standard Audi Q3 and Q3 Sportback. Huge, perforated brake discs are standard front and rear, as are 20-inch alloy wheels. Dipping into the options list allows you to increase the wheel size to 21 inches, and add ceramic brakes and adaptive suspension parts. Two new paint colours are available, which are exclusive to the RS models, and you can choose aluminium exterior trim to replace the standard gloss black option.
The larger version of the Audi Virtual Cockpit screen is fitted, and includes special RS graphics and extra driving information menus. Going for the range-toppers allows you to check your tyre pressures, lap times and the g-forces you’re experiencing. The sports seats are trimmed in leather and Alcantara suede-like fabric, although you can opt for more supportive RS ‘bucket’ seats if you want.