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Geneva show: Performance lift for Audi RS Q3

Performance enhanced: Audi has added another 'performance' variant to its range with the RS Q3, following the RS7/RS6 performance twins that were announced last year.

Audi ups the power and slaps 'performance' badge on hi-po RS Q3 SUV


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5 Feb 2016

AUDI has lifted the covers off a faster, more powerful version of its RS Q3 and it is headed to Australian showrooms to spice up Audi's performance-car line-up.

The RS Q3 'performance' variant will lob Down Under before the end of 2016, according to Audi Australia, and while pricing is yet to be divulged, it is expected to carry a premium over the $81,510 (plus on-road costs) standard version.

Under the bonnet is a tweaked version of Audi's renowned 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, tuned to deliver 270kW of power and 465Nm of torque between 1625 and 5500rpm.

This represents a boost of 20kW/15Nm over the regular RS Q3 that arrived in facelifted guise mid-last year.

The extra muscle has made for a quicker 0-100km/h sprint time, with the crossover completing the distance in 4.4 seconds, a 0.4s drop over the regular version, before hitting a top speed of 270km/h.

This 0-100km dash time beats that of the rival Mercedes-AMG GLA45 that uses a 265kW/450Nm 2.0-litre turbo engine and covers the same ground in 4.8s.

Under the bonnet of the RS3 Sportback, the Audi five-pot does 0-100km/h in 4.3s.

The RS Q3 performance uses Audi's S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and drives all four wheels via the quattro all-wheel drive system.

A sport suspension set-up ensures the ballistic crossover sits 20mm lower than its more sedate Q3 siblings, while sport suspension plus with damper control is an option and can be adjusted via the Audi drive select system between comfort, auto and dynamic modes.

Visually, the RS Q3 performance gains some tweaks, including add-on parts in a matte titanium-look finish on the air inlet ducts, quattro logo, grille, side window strips, roof rails, exterior mirror housings, the upper part of the rear diffuser and the fins on the roof spoiler.

It also gets red or black brake callipers featuring the RS logo and RS-specific five-spoke 20-inch wheels. An exclusive body colour – Ascari blue – is also available.

Inside, the sports seats feature a combination of black and blue colours, the dials have grey faces, white dials and red needles, and the RS sports leather steering wheel, gear selector gaiter, armrest and floor mats have contrasting blue stitching. An RS performance design package is a no-cost option.

Late last year, Audi announced plans to introduce the RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback performance variants to its line-up this year, upping the power of the 4.0-litre twin-turbo TFSI V8 petrol engine by 33kW/50Nm to 445kW/750Nm thanks to a temporary overboost function.

The RS Q3 performance will have its official debut at the Geneva motor show and Australian pricing will be revealed closer to launch later in 2016.

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