Audi extends their Q3 range to include RS models.
With the addition of an upgraded RS Q3 and an all-new RS Q3 Sportback, Audi has added two performance models to their compact SUV product range, the Q3. Not only are these models something to behold, but they pack quite a punch from their 2.5 TFSI five-cylinder engines. This engine, incidentally, has won the coveted “International Engine of the Year Award” for the ninth time in 2020.
But performance is nothing if the looks don’t match. From an appearance side the RS Q3 shows its Audi RS genes that it shares with the rest of the Audi stable through a gloss black grill with three-dimensional honeycomb structure, however, the striking boomerang-shaped blades are unique to the RS Q3.
The Sportback has a lower-slung roofline that’s 45 mm lower than the RS Q3, and with design finetuning, it appears more muscular, and the wheels appear larger. Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators and RS-specific darkened trims are standard equipment and there is LED technology in the rear lights.
AUDI RS PERFORMANCE
At less than 50 cm in length, the power and torque outputs of the 2.5 TFSI engine is remarkable, 294 kW and 480 Nm will leave many in your dust. The engine has undergone surgery to improve performance, and this has led to a 17% increase in power. The 26kg reduction in weight through an aluminium crankcase and other fine-tuning (smaller bearings, a hollow bored crankshaft, to name a few) contributes to this.
This five-cylinder engines drives the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive that distributes the power as needed between the front and rear axles via a multi-plate clutch of the seven-speed S Tronic gearbox. Systems like the steering, suspension, S tronic response, engine characteristics and sound can be changed through the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. You can choose between five or six modes (dependent on the equipment variant selected) and this can include two individually adjustable RS modes.
Closer to the road
The RS suspension lowers the ride height by 10 mm and through some sporty tuning, it shoud give outstanding handling to the two new variants. Audi offers 21-inch wheels in various rim designs and behind this there is an all-new six-piston RS steel-brake system that works with ventilated and perforated disks measuring 375 millimetres (front) and 310 millimetres (rear, not perforated).
Both models are available with the RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). This system regulates the flow of oil into the dampers. The RS-tuned dampers can be adjusted according to the road surface conditions and driving situation. The suspension provides the optimum damping force for each damper within milliseconds. The upshot is enhanced driving dynamics, precise stability and agile handling coupled with even greater comfort.
Behind the wheel
From the RS Sport Plus Nappa Leather seats the virtual cockpit-feel of the design still conveys a generous sense of space. If you want information like tyre pressure, torque, power output, lap times, g-forces and acceleration measurements, there is now a larger display for the driver with this information right at their fingertips.
The focus is not only on performance. Both models are designed as five-seater models and offer everyday functionality. The rear seats can be moved forwards or backwards by 150 mm in the RS Q3 and 130 mm in the RS Q3 Sportback. The luggage compartment can hold 530 litres and with the backseats folded down, this increases to 1 525 litres (1 400 litres in the Sportback).
AUDI RS Q3 & RS Q3 SPORTBACK PRICING
The new Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback are priced as follows (inclusive of all taxes) and is standard with a five-year Audi Freeway Plan:
Audi RS Q3 TFSI quattro R1,094,000
Audi RS Q3 Sportback TFSI quattro R1,128,000
Images: Audi South Africa