The Audi RS-Q3 is an altogether extreme take on the concept of compact SUV’s. We get behind the wheel of one in rainy Munich to do our Audi RS Q3 to see how it fits into the otherwise sensible Audi RS-Q3 line-up.
In the drab, grey surroundings of Munich in early winter, the bright red Audi RS-Q3 stood out like a ray of light. The design, which has been sufficiently modified to give it the required aggression befitting of the RS Range, gives it tremendous presence – the bright hue of our test car helps of course! Cementing the purposeful looks of the Audi RS-Q3 are large 19-inch wheels fitted as standard – 20-inchers are an option – as well as an aggressive front bumper with large Quattro lettering on the front air dam.
This most extreme version of the Audi RS-Q3 range is aimed at enthusiasts who obviously have absolute faith in the idiom that there’s no such thing as too much power. So, the RS is powered by a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 335bhp and 450Nm of torque, which means that this Audi RS-Q3 is plenty fast. The 0-100km/h mark comes up in just 4.8 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. However, it’s not just the speed that makes this car fun to drive – rather it’s the complete character of the machine. Right from the all-black interiors, with gorgeous diamond quilted seats, to the sporty dials, the whole intention is to enhance the sportiness of this machine.And the RS impresses on the road, with the five-cylinder emitting a lovely warble that’s suitably loud when you’re on the power – with a lovely crackle and pop on the overrun. Of course, given the power levels of the RS, there’s no dearth of performance. On the Autobahn, crossing 200km/h was effortless – with the Quattro all-wheel drive system providing excellent levels of grip and traction. The dual-clutch gearbox works very well, and I must admit that there were times during our Audi RS Q3 when I downshifted just to hear more of the exhaust and engine at high revs.
While we didn’t have enough time to explore the handling limits of the Audi RS-Q3, I can only imagine that it’s in keeping with the character of this machine – which is to say very impressive indeed. The trouble with creating an SUV with such a strong sporting character, unfortunately, is that you have to make the suspension so stiff to ensure that it handles well that you end up destroying ride comfort in its entirety. And judging by the manner in which the Audi RS-Q3 reacted to expansion joints on the highway, that’s exactly what appears to have happened in this case as well.
So, we’ll have to wait and see how its fares in our conditions when we do our Audi RS Q3. And I have a sneaking suspicion that it may actually get launched at some point next year. It would certainly be a great addition to the Audi RS-Q3 range. After all, the Audi RS-Q3 has a lot of appeal – and a lot of substance to match that appeal. But with its performance potential, it remains a very niche product. And with the audience for performance products slowly, but surely, growing in India, the Audi RS-Q3 will be an interesting addition to the Audi line-up.
- Audi RS Q3
Engine: 2,480cc / 5 cylinders / Direct Injection/ Turbocharged
Transmission: 7-Speed dual clutch automatic/All-wheel drive
Power: 335bhp @ 5,300rpm-6,700rpm
Torque: 450Nm @ 1,600-5,300rpm