You are coming out of time. While the SUV is currently in the public pillory, Audis Sport GmbH is pushing two compact representatives of the demonized vehicle category onto the market, both trimmed for maximum performance, with a five-cylinder engine that needs a lot of fuel and at prices for which you can buy three Small car could buy. We are talking about the Audi RS Q3, which is now joined by another model with the Coupé variant RS Q3 Sportback. At prices starting at 63 euros, the two Kraftmeier will roll to the dealer at the end of the year.
Whether it was a good idea to place two nearly identical models next to each other remains to be seen. Because the RS Q3 Sportback could run out of the regular sister model rank, the coupe version is much sharper styled, without that one would have to accept large differences in function, practicality or equipment in purchasing. Both are designed as full-fledged five-seater and offer all day fitness for all sportsmanship. Thus, the back seat in the RS Q3 can be moved by 15 centimeters, in the Sportback by 13 centimeters. And the luggage compartment holds 530 liters in both models, with the folded-back in the RS Q3 with 1525 liters being slightly larger than the coupé model (1400 liters). Also, the 1500 Euro surcharge for the Sportback version should be negligible in the high base price.
But the Sportback body with 1,56 meter is good 4,5 inches lower than the normal RS Q3 on the 20 inches (optional 21 inches) big wheels and looks visually fuller and more muscular with its sloping roofline and the lower placed rising shoulder line. The same applies to the rear view, where the low rear window, the roof spoiler and the flatter D-pillars make the Sportback look wider than its counterpart. The Kühlerschlund, however, tear both on equally dramatic manner. The shiny black grill, now without chrome frame, in three-dimensional honeycomb structure is now deeper and directly embedded in the bumper and is flanked by lateral, large-sized air intakes. These are joined by the RS trademarks: boomerang-shaped "blades" in the bumper, the flat slits above the radiator grille, which are to commemorate the original Quattro, and the wheel arches each exhibited at ten millimeters. For the first time, the RS Q3 has a twin-flow exhaust system with large oval tailpipes on both sides and chrome-colored panels.
As standard, both SUVs are equipped with LED headlamps. Optionally there are Matrix LED headlights with dynamic flashing light and RS-specific darkened panels. The rear lights are also implemented in LED technology.
The drive of the new spearheads in the Q3 model series matches the dynamic exterior. Audi Sport remains with the unique five-cylinder turbo gasoline engine, for which the Ingolstadt-based company received the “International Engine of the Year Award” for the ninth time in a row. The 2.5 TFSI generates a good 2480 percent more power from the unchanged 17 cubic centimeters of displacement, which means that 400 HP (294 kW) plus 480 Newton meters of maximum torque are now on the data sheet. Both SUVs can now complete the standard sprint from a standing start to 100 km / h in 4,5 seconds. The top is limited at 250 km / h, on request also only at 280 km / h. Audi specifies the average consumption at 8,8 to 8,9 liters (202 to 204 grams of CO2 per kilometer) - mind you, according to the standard, which experience has shown that “high-performance SUVs” are hardly adhered to in everyday automotive life.
The 2,5-liter engine is extremely compact with less than 50 centimeters in length and is 26 kilograms lighter than in the predecessor model. Its crankcase is now made of aluminum, which alone saves 18 kilograms in weight. The hollow-bored crankshaft is another kilogram lighter. Due to the odd number of cylinders and special ignition sequence 1-2-4-5-3 - directly adjacent and widely spaced cylinders ignite alternately - creates a very special rhythm and characteristic engine sound, which is emphasized by the twin-flow RS exhaust system again. An optionally available sports exhaust system with black tailpipe trims further enhances the unmistakable sound.
Via the seven-speed dual clutch S-Tronic, the forces of the five-cylinder flow on the permanent four-wheel drive, which distributes the power freely between the axles. The driving dynamics system Audi drive select controls the drive distribution and other components such as steering, suspension, S-Tronic, engine characteristics and sound. There are five or six modes available, comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual, or alternatively to the individual mode, the two new RS settings RS1 and RS2, depending on the selected equipment variant. Using the MMI, the driver can customize and save the two RS modes. For quick access or change within the two new modes, just press the new steering wheel button "RS-MODE".
The standard RS sports suspension lays the body ten millimeters lower than the Audi Q3 and Q3 Sportback. On request, the RS RS sports suspension plus with damper control DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) is also available for the new RS Q3. For the first time, Audi Sport is offering 21-inch wheels in various wheel designs for its high-performance SUV.
In the interior, the athletic design of the exterior continues. The entire cockpit design is highly driver-oriented, the air conditioning control unit, the center console and the MMI touch display are inclined by ten degrees to the steering wheel. The sports leather steering wheel, flattened at the bottom, including newly designed paddles, has multifunction buttons that allow the driver to control the two optional RS modes in the Audi drive select vehicle dynamics system. On request, the driver receives the larger "Audi virtual cockpit plus" with shift light display, which prompts the driver to upshift when the speed limit is reached. In addition, special RS displays inform about tire pressure, torque, power, lap times and g-forces, and even enable acceleration measurement.
Sport seats in black leather / alcantara with RS embossing emphasize the athletic character in both SUVs. For the first time in the Q3 family, RS sports seats in fine nappa leather with special honeycomb stitching and integrated headrests are available. Their contrasting seams are black shiny as standard, optionally red or blue. There are also special RS design packages with red or blue accents on the steering wheel rim, straps, floor mats and gearshift levers, as well as planking and door arm rests in red or blue Alcantara. For the first time, the interior can also be completely black.