New Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback launched with 395bhp

The new Audi RS Q3 is joined the sleek RS Q3 Sportback, with both boasting the same 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine lifted from the RS 3

Audi has revealed RS versions of its Q3 and newly launched Q3 Sportback small SUVs.

Just like its predecessor, the new RS Q3 packs the same engine from the RS 3 Sportback and benefits from performance and chassis upgrades from the German brand’s Audi Sport division. The RS Q3 Sportback, meanwhile, is mechanically identical and, for now at least, is Audi Sport’s first coupe SUV.

• Best fast family cars

The visual upgrades are arguably at their most arresting at the front with the RS Q3 getting a different, more aggressive looking bumper from regular Audi Q3 models. Large air vents bookend a new grille, that’s not only more inset, but also features a gloss black finish and a honeycomb design, while a small slot, that sits above the grille but below the edge of the bonnet, mark out the RS version.

Both front and rear arches have been flared by 10mm, while at the rear there’s a new spoiler. For the first time on the RS Q3, there are two oval-shaped pipes – addressing criticism of the previous version’s single exhaust pipe arrangement – that sit under a new bumper, and for a deeper sound, there’s an optional sports exhaust system available.  

Meanwhile, the RS Q3 Sportback is being touted as the more sporting version. Just like the standard Q3 Sportback, the RS version also features a roofline that’s 45mm lower than the more practical RS Q3. Moreover, the RS gets the same rising shoulder line as the Q3 Sportback that sits further down the body, giving the impression the car is sitting lower to the ground. The RS Q3 Sportback gets a different spoiler to the RS Q3, too – the coupe SUV has a more discrete lip spoiler rather than the RS Q3’s larger one.

Under the bonnet, the RS 3 Sportback’s characterful 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine makes an appearance in the RS Q3, just like it did in the previous version. Here it pushes out 395bhp rather than the old car’s 335bhp (or 362bhp in RS Q3 Performance specification) and the 0-62mph sprint is now covered in 4.5 seconds (0.4 seconds quicker than the previous RS Q3 but 0.1 seconds slower than the old Performance model). The top speed is limited to 155mph or can be bumped up to 174mph for an additional cost.

The five-pot engine is hooked up to one of Audi’s seven-speed S tronic gearboxes and quattro all-wheel drive, and, as ever, there are a number of driving modes that adjust the car’s characteristics. However, just like the recently revealed RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback, there are two new modes in the Drive Select; RS1 and RS2 are the most hardcore and allow more ways for the driver to change the engine, throttle, suspension, steering and gearbox parameters.

As standard both models get RS sport suspension – that allow both RS Q3s to sit 10mm lower to the ground than regular models – 20-inch wheels and ventilated and perforated 375mm steel brakes at the front and perforated 310mm discs at the back. Adaptive dampers, 21-inch alloys and ceramic brakes are available as options.

Inside, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit comes as standard but can be upgraded to a display incorporating shift lights. Both come with RS-specific displays, which feature g-force, tyre pressure, torque and lap time information, and just like the rest of the car, there are various options for the interior. Part-leather, part-alcantara sports seats come as standard with RS sports seats available as an option, and there are a handful of colour packages to brighten up the cabin. 

Two new body colours arrive – Kylami green and Naro grey – that are specific to the RS models, both cars’ exterior trim can be ordered in gloss black or aluminum, and puddle lamps – that beam the Audi Sport logo onto the pavement – are standard equipment. Both models will be going on sale early in 2020, with pricing to be announced later this year – but you can expect the RS Q3 to start from around £50,000 and the Sportback a little over £51,000.

Do you like the look of the new RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback? Let us know your thoughts below...

Most Popular

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox
Dacia Duster gear lever
News

Driving test update to preserve the manual gearbox

With more drivers learning in autos and electric cars, the DVSA is looking to update the driving test so people can still drive manuals in future
16 Jun 2021
Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services
Tesla Model 3 police car - front
News

Tesla Model 3 police car all set for evaluation by UK emergency services

Tesla hopes to offer UK police forces a new zero-emission emergency responder option with the Model 3 police car
17 Jun 2021
New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power
Vauxhall Astra render
Vauxhall Astra

New 2021 Vauxhall Astra to offer plug-in hybrid power

The new Vauxhall Astra will get a plug-in hybrid powertrain and a more premium image - here’s how it could look
17 Jun 2021
Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review
Ineos Grenadier prototype
Ineos Grenadier 4x4

Ineos Grenadier prototype 2022 review

Can the Ineos Grenadier really fill the mud-splattered void left by the old Land Rover Defender? We take a first drive in a prototype to find out...
15 Jun 2021
Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police
police speed gun
News

Motorists think they can get away with driving offences due to lack of road police

Lack of road traffic police officers in the UK is making it easy for drivers to break the law, according to a survey of 15,500 British motorists
16 Jun 2021
New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review
Nissan Qashqai 2021
Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai 2021 review

We get behind the wheel of the larger, more comfortable and higher-tech Nissan Qashqai SUV in the UK
16 Jun 2021
Dacia unveils new badge design
Dacia badge
Dacia

Dacia unveils new badge design

The new Dacia branding will feature on the company’s cars from 2022, with the Bigster being the first candidate
17 Jun 2021
New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review
Audi Q4 e-tron 2021  front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New Audi Q4 e-tron 2021 review

We get involved with the new all-electric Audi Q4 e-tron SUV on UK roads for the first time
17 Jun 2021
UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars
Electric car charging
News

UN report highlights ethical problems with electric cars

Analysis reveals lithium refining takes 65 per cent of Chilean region’s water, while 40,000 child miners dig for cobalt in DRC
14 Jun 2021
'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'
Opinion Genesis Hyundai Ioniq
Opinion

'I was cynical about Hyundai's aim to be the world's 2nd biggest carmaker, not now'

Steve Fowler is impressed by Hyundai's electric cars, its N division and now its luxury Genesis brand
16 Jun 2021
Mazda to launch 10 new hybrids and three new EVs by 2025
Mazda electric plan
Mazda

Mazda to launch 10 new hybrids and three new EVs by 2025

The electrification push forms part of Mazda’s goal to become a completely carbon neutral company by 2050
17 Jun 2021
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed
Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition
Ford Puma

Fan-designed Ford Puma ST Gold Edition revealed

Ford unveils a special edition Puma ST, with a black and gold colour scheme chosen by Ford fans over social media
18 Jun 2021
New Renault Arkana 2021 review
Renault Arkana - front
Renault Arkana

New Renault Arkana 2021 review

Does an eye-catching coupe-SUV body give the new Renault Arkana the edge over other mid-size SUVs? We find out...
16 Jun 2021
New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review
Skoda Enyaq iV 80 Sportline - front
Skoda Enyaq

New Skoda Enyaq iV 2021 review

The new Skoda Enyaq iV is the Czech firm’s first bespoke electric car and we've tested the full range on UK roads
10 Jun 2021