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Beijing show: Audi previews hot Q3

Blue moving: Audi’s new Q3-based concept car races to 100km/h in just 5.2 seconds.

Turbocharged Audi RS Q3 Concept looks set for production by the end of 2013

18 Apr 2012

AUDI has taken the mighty 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder from the recently released TT RS and slipped it into the front of a Q3 compact SUV to come up with a sporty crossover that looks certain to make it into production – perhaps by the end of 2013.

The all-wheel-drive Audi RS Q3 Concept will make its public debut at the Beijing motor show next week.

With a 15kW boost in power to 265kW over the TT RS, the RS Q3 Concept races from 0-100km/h in just 5.2 seconds – 1.7 seconds faster than the 2.0-litre turbo Q3 and less than a second slower than the lightweight TT – on the way to a top speed of 265km/h.

Audi has not revealed the torque figure for the concept car, but it has presumably also gained a little on the 450Nm generated in the TT RS.

Like the standard Q3, drive is taken primarily to the front wheels via a seven-speed S-tronic transmission, but the quattro all-wheel-drive system will direct some of the power to the rear wheels when required.

The body sits 25mm lower than a standard Q3, but Audi has not revealed what suspension changes have been made. It appears to sport a wider track, requiring the fitment of racy flares to cover the 10-spoke 8.5x20-inch alloy wheels.

7 center imageVisually, the RS Q3 Concept is finished in an eye-catching blue and sports a more aggressive exterior than the standard Q3.

A new black honeycomb grille designed to create a three-dimensional effect is framed by brushed and polished aluminium trim, lightly tinted headlights, subtle silver ‘quattro’ lettering beneath the grille, a black carbon-fibre front splitter and twin carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic air intakes.

The same combination of black and blue tinted areas is repeated on the sides with the flared wheelarches, matt window frames, side mirror housings and side sills, while the rear is distinguished by a roof spoiler, tinted tail-lights and a large rear diffuser with the typical RS oval exhaust tips.

The colour theme continues inside with lots of blue panels and stitching to break up the otherwise black-dominated cockpit, which gets a boost of light from a sunroof.

Heavily bolstered front sport seats and the rear bench seat are upholstered in black Nappa leather with contrasting blue Alcantara panels.

Even the carbon-fibre-look plastic panels on the dash, centre console and steering wheel are woven with blue luminescent glass fibres.

The leather-bound flat-bottom steering wheel has large plastic paddle shifters framed by aluminum, RS Q3 badges adorn the instrument cluster, seatbacks, door sill plates and floor mats, and the usual Arabic numerals in the tachometer are replaced by Chinese characters.

Under the bonnet, carbon-fibre frames the five-cylinder engine, which carries a red – not blue for some reason – camshaft cover, with race-style numbered spark plug covers.

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