Audi has unleashed the latest member of its high-performance RS family at the Beijing Motor Show. The RS Q3 concept adds an extra dose of power, luxury and visual aggression to the company’s smallest SUV.
Under the bonnet is the same 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine as fitted to the TT RS and RS3 hatch, although in the Q3 it has 20bhp more power, at 355bhp. This is sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed double clutch box, with 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and a 165mph top speed.
At the front, a deep grille is surrounded by aluminium trim and filled with a black gloss honeycomb insert. The lower section is emblazoned with the ‘quattro’ logo, while the outer sections and bottom lip are made from carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
To blend with the Ordos Blue paint, the trim around the wheelarches, sills and bumpers is finished with blue clearcoat. At the rear, a pair of elliptical tailpipes protrudes from the diffuser – a familiar RS touch.
The blue theme continues inside, with trim panels made from a special type of CFRP woven with blue luminescent fibres. In recognition of the car’s Beijing debut, the rev counter uses Chinese symbols instead of standard numbers.
Audi won’t confirm the RS Q3 will be built, but it’s highly likely. We drove a prototype briefly last summer, which suggests that any engineering challenges have already been addressed.