Audi injected some serious performance treatment to its smallest SUV to boost its power to the same level as RS 3 hot-hatch.
Audi’s Quattro GmbH sporty division is the one responsible for the extra power brought to some of the four-rings brand’s models. The new Audi RS Q3 performance joins the RS 6 Avant performance and the RS 7 Sportback performance as the third member of the highly-tuned range. Compared with the “more civilized” RS Q3, Audi has tweaked the output of the 2.5 TFSI engine for this ultimate little Q3. The engineers improved the cooling capacity of the main radiator and optimized the fuel pump to give the five-cylinder turbo an extra 20 kW (27 hp) of power, thus raising the total output to 270 kW (367 hp), while the 465 Nm (343.0 lb-ft) of torque is available from 1,625 to 5,500 rpm. The high-performance RS Q3 now sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds and it keeps going up to 270 km/h (167.8 mph).
The five-cylinder turbo’s power is transmitted to the wheels via a modified seven-speed S tronic system. The lower gears are now shorter for sporty response while the seventh gear is long to save fuel. The driver can let the dual-clutch transmission do all the work in modes D and S, or can shift gears manually using the shift paddles on the standard RS multifunction steering wheel. The RS sport suspension on the new Audi RS Q3 performance has also been adapted to the new enhanced features and lowers the body by 20 millimeters compared with the Audi Q3, while a dumper control system is offered as an option. The characteristic of the adaptive dampers can be set to one of three different modes (comfort, auto and dynamic) using the standard dynamic handling system Audi drive select.
The exterior design with its typical RS design details underscores the distinctive appearance of the Audi high-performance models. These include the aggressive bumpers with large air inlets up front and the heavily profiled diffuser insert at the rear and the gloss black honeycomb grilles. Another highlight are the RS-specific 20 inch wheels in a five twin-spoke V design. The base price of the Audi RS Q3 Performance is 61,000 euros, and deliveries are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2016.