New Audi RS Q3: performance crossover now comes in Sportback, too

Published: 26 September 2019

► All-new RS Q3
► Now in Sportback flavour, too
► Uses 395 bhp five-cylinder

Audi continues its niche-filling with this, the RS Q3. Based on the updated mini-Q, the new performance crossover wears an aggressive remix of the standard car’s body, and combines it with increased performance. And because this is 2019, Ingolstadt is also offering the new Audi RS Q3 in a Sportback variant (green here). Audi says deliveries will begin in the first quarter of 2020, so you won’t have long to wait.

‘The first Audi RS Q3 established its own segment,’ said Oliver Hoffmann, managing director of Audi Sport. ‘We aim to continue this success story with the new generation of the compact high-performance SUV,’ he added.  

‘With the offering of the all-new Audi RS Q3 Sportback, a progressive SUV coupe crossover, we are the trendsetter and are leveraging to the full the phenomenal growth potential for Audi Sport.’

What’s it look like then?

As the name suggests, this is a Q3 with an Audi Sport make over. That means a gloss black grille, boomerang blades shoved in the front air-intakes, and flat slits above the Singleframe, too. At the back you’ll find oval tailpipes, and a diffuser in – you guessed it – gloss black, 

The Sportback is everything you’d expect, too (shown here in green with the standard RS Q3 in red). Essentially the same as the RS Q3, but with a roofline that tapers towards the rear of the car, it caters for a very slightly different crowd. 

Audi says the squashed roofline lowers the optical centre of gravity, and also makes the rear wheels look bigger. And about those wheels: uou’re looking at 20-inch rims as standard, with the optional of 21s. 

What’s under the bonnet?

The RS Q3 packs in Ingolstadt’s compact 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder, and puts out 395bhp and 354 lb ft of torque. That power means the RS Q3 in can propel itself to 62mph in 4.5 seconds whichever body style you pick, and both cars have a top speed of 155mph.

Any other tech bits?

Audi’s Drive Select modes return – but now with an RS mode for quick swapping – and Dynamic Chassis Control should stop the RS Q3 keep body roll through bends. You’ll find all-new six-piston steel brakes connected to the left pedal. And because this is an RS car, ceramic brakes are available in gray, red or blue. 

Expect exactly the same tech as the normal Q3 inside, but with an angrier, racier RS-style interior.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast