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Audi RS Q3 lobs from $81,900

Form a Q: The RS Q3 is the first SUV in its Audi's line-up to wear the famed RS moniker.

Hot RS Q3 compact SUV to be the most affordable RS model in Audi’s local line-up


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8 Oct 2013

AUDI has confirmed its super-hot RS Q3 sports-crossover will arrive in Australian showrooms from February next year priced from $81,900, making it the most affordable RS in the German marque's stable.

The RS Q3 undercuts the next-cheapest model in Audi's performance car arsenal, the TT RS Plus coupe that is priced from $139,900 plus on-road costs, by a whopping $58,000. For the same price, buyers could buy an RS Q3 and an A4 2.0 TDI sedan.

It also undercuts Audi's first high-performance SUV, the 230kW/650Nm 3.0-litre turbo-diesel SQ5 that launched in May this year, by $7500.

As reported by GoAuto, the RS Q3 is powered by the same 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol that sits under the bonnet of the TT RS, although Audi has detuned the unit for the soft-roader and fitted it with a seven-speed 'S tronic' automatic transmission.

Power sits at 228kW and 420Nm of torque, a 37kW/45Nm drop from the TT RS's figures of 265kW/465Nm.

The RS Q3 can complete the 0-100km/h dash in 5.5 seconds, a good deal slower than the TT RS's time of 4.3 seconds, and it also trails the larger SQ5's sprint time of 5.1 seconds.

The introduction of the RS makes it easily the quickest Q3 on the Australian market, beating the 2.0 TFSI Quattro's 6.9-second 0-100km/h sprint.

Interestingly, it is slower than the 206kW/380Nm S3 Sportback five-door hatch that is scheduled to arrive in Australia in December, with a claimed 5.0-second 0-100km/h time.

Audi has packed the RS Q3 with standard gear, including Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, front and rear RS styling touches and an RS high performance brake system with a wave disc design at the front.

Inside, Audi has included sat-nav with a touch-screen, 20GB hard-drive storage, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, reversing camera and rear parking sensors, dual-zone climate control, automatic dimming interior mirror, Nappa leather sports seats with RS embossing and various RS styling flourishes throughout.

Audi Australia managing director Andrew Doyle said the RS Q3 offered something different to Australian performance car enthusiasts.

“Our price point of $81,900 is really going to motivate some buyers to look at the sports car they have always wanted,” he said. “No other car offers anything like the kind of performance, versatility or exclusivity of an Audi RS model at this price point.

“It truly is a unique vehicle and looks set to expand Australia’s love of performance SUV models.”

The RS Q3 follows the introduction of Audi's first performance SUV, the SQ5 that has been a sales winner for the German car-maker in Australia since launch.

Audi said in a statement that about 70 orders had already been placed for the RS Q3 in Australia, ahead of its official local launch in February next year.

There is no real competition for the RS Q3 outside its own stable, with BMW's X1 turbo-petrol 180kW/350Nm xDrive28i that can race to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds.

However, that could soon change, with Mercedes-Benz confirming last month that it will introduce an AMG version of its upcoming GLA compact crossover sometime next year. While Mercedes is yet to release powertrain details, it looks set to share the same 265kW/450Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the ballistic A45 AMG hatch and CLA45 AMG sedan siblings.

Audi RS Q3 pricing*
RS Q3$81,900
*Excludes on-road costs.

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