Audi Sport has given its compact Q3 the performance treatment, debuting the RS Q3 SUV and RS Q3 Sportback coupe-SUV twins.
Mounted under the bonnet is a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine borrowed from the RS 3 hatch and sedan, producing a stonking 294kW of power and 480Nm of torque.
While those outputs may match that of the hatch and sedan from which the five-pot is borrowed, they fall 16kW and 20Nm short of Mercedes-AMG’s recently-revealed range-topping A45 S hyper-hatch.
Drive in the hot crossovers is sent to all wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and a front-biased ‘quattro’ all-wheel-drive system capable of delivering up to 50 per cent of the power to the rear wheels. The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in just 4.5 seconds – top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h, though it can be increased to 280km/h with the right option boxes checked.
As standard, the RS Q3 duo ride on 10mm-lower sports suspension, with track widths increased by 6mm up front and 7mm at the rear. Customers can alternatively spec RS sport suspension plus, which adds adaptive dampers altered and tuned by various selectable drive modes.
20-inch wheels wrapped in sport-oriented Hankook tyres are bundled as standard, while 21-inch alloys can be had as an option.
Hiding behind those large rims are 375mm front and 310mm ventilated steel brakes clamped by six-piston calipers. Ceramic brakes are optional, with monoblock aluminium calipers around larger 380mm front discs and 310mm rears. A revised electric power steering system also features.
The RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback have been adorned with a bolder look to match their under-bonnet brawn. There’s a new front bumper with larger air intakes and Ur-Quattro-style bonnet-edge vent, sporty side skirts, rear spoiler, aggressive rear diffuser and dual oval-shaped exhaust tips.
Two colours are offered exclusively with the RS twins, Nardo Grey and Kyalami Green, the latter of which is named after a race track in South Africa.
Inside, drivers sit in leather/Alcantara-trimmed, embossed sports seats, gripping a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel with aluminium-look paddle shifters.
Other interior elements include illuminated RS-branded door sills, a range of trim choices and contrast stitching, which complement the extensive list of onboard tech features that’s headlined by a 10.25-inch ‘Virtual Cockpit’ digital instrument cluster and a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen.
The 2020 Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback are scheduled to land on Australian shores in the second quarter of 2020.