Visually, the RS Q3 wears colour-matched side trim and wheel arch extensions, an imposing brushed aluminium single-frame radiator grille with honeycomb mesh and matte aluminium accents around the front air intakes and mirror casings. The rear gets a sportier tailgate spoiler, large diffuser insert and elliptical RS twin tailpipes, while the 19 or optional 20-inch alloys provide a more purposeful demeanour, accentuated by a 25 mm drop in ride height.
Moving inside, the embossed seats are upholstered in a combination of black leather and Alcantara, while the multi-function steering wheel is trimmed in grey. Piano finish black inlays, a black roof lining, aluminium foot rest and pedals and an RS-specific MMI and driver information system with lap time come as standard, with items on the options list including carbon fibre or aluminium inlays, a lunar silver headlining and seats finished in Fine Nappa leather in black or lunar silver with diamond stitching.
Propulsion for the 1,730 kg RS Q3 come via Audi’s turbocharged five-cylinder 2.5 TFSI unit – developing 228 kW (310 hp) and 420 Nm of torque. Delivering its power to the quattro all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic transmission, 100 km/h (62 mph) appears in just in 5.5 seconds, with top speed limited to 250 km/h. The auto start/stop system contributes to an average consumption of 8.8 litres of fuel per 100 km and CO2 emissions of 206 grams per km.
Deliveries begin this Autumn, with pricing in Germany starting at €54,600. Who’d have thought that, albeit it a little more expensive, Audi would build a diesel-powered Q5 that would outperform (and drink less than) its flagship RS model.