Audi RS Q3 arrives with 400 horsepower, available Sportback body

Audi Sport’s RS Q3 has been redesigned and this time there’s more power and a second body style to go with the new looks.

The original RS Q3 was never offered in the United States but there’s a good chance we’ll see the new generation. Unfortunately, the sleeker RS Q3 Sportback will be a no-show since the U.S. already misses out on the regular Q3 Sportback.

2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback

2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback

The high-performance compact crossover SUVs follow a similar performance path to the previous RS Q3, with the familiar 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 under the hood and tuned to deliver 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The previous generation came with 340 hp as standard and 367 hp in Performance guise.

The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system and will hustle the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback from 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds. The top speed is a governed 155 mph but an available performance pack lifts this to 174 mph.

Audi Sport's 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5

Audi Sport’s 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5

Audi Sport fits the RS Q3 models with a performance suspension setup that drops the ride height by 10 millimeters compared to the standard Q3. A more aggressive Sport suspension can be added and includes adaptive dampers. Other chassis features include standard 20-inch wheels and six-piston front brake calipers with 14.8-inch rotors. That’s already serious stopping power for a compact SUV but buyers can still go higher with carbon-ceramic rotors with 15-inch rotors for the front axle.

The Audi Sport team has also dressed up the interior with sports seats trimmed in Nappa leather and Alcantara, together with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and custom displays for the digital instrument cluster. The latter includes readouts for important metrics like torque, power output, lap times, g-forces and acceleration.

2020 Audi RS Q3

2020 Audi RS Q3

The exterior also looks the part with flared wheel arches, aggressive front and rear fascias, chunky side skirts, and a rear diffuser flanked at either end by Audi Sport’s signature oval exhaust tips. The grille surround is also painted to match the body color while the grille insert features an Audi Sport-specific design. As an option, buyers can also opt for darkened headlights.

Sales of the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback commence in late 2019, but unfortunately there’s still no word on availability in the U.S. Hopefully that changes soon.

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