The Audi RS Q3 is powered by the same 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine as the recently discontinued RS3, albeit detuned to 306bhp.
The RS Q3 can complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.5 seconds and hit an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The engine produces 420Nm of torque from 1,500rpm, which is sent to all four wheels via a standard-fit seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch gearbox.
The 2.5-litre engine now gets stop-start as standard, which means that Audi claims a 32.1mpg average and CO2 emissions of 206g/km.
Audi Drive Select is fitted as standard, too, allowing the driver to adjust the exhaust sound and throttle characteristics by selecting from auto, comfort or dynamic modes. Sports suspension lowers the car by 25mm compared to the standard Q3.
The ESP has a sport mode and can be fully deactivated. Uprated front brake discs with wave-shaped edges are standard and are inspired by those fitted to high-performance superbikes, dissipating heat better while shaving 1kg of weight per wheel.
The RS Q3 features a full aggressive RS bodykit, which increases the length of the car by 25mm, taking the total to 4,410mm. The SUV tips the scales at 1,730kg. 19-inch alloys are standard, but 20-inch alloys are available as an option. Interior upgrades include sports seats and plenty of RS badges.
The RS Q3 is expected to cost around £11,000 more than the current Q3 2.0-litre TFSI S Line, at around £42,000, when first deliveries take place at the end of the year. It will have no direct rival at launch, but will soon have to compete with the forthcoming 355bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged Mercedes GLA 45 AMG, which will arrive in 2014.