Published on www.automobilemag.com
February 4, 2016
Audi’s smallest crossover is now even faster. The 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five engine in the new Audi RS Q3 Performance gets a big shot of adrenaline, boosting its performance from 335 hp and 332 lb-ft in the regular RS Q3 to 362 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque. In other words, it’s a small crossover with the raging heart of the RS 3 Sportback hot hatchback
With that infusion of enthusiasm, the RS Q3 Performance smashes the 62-mph barrier in 4.4 seconds and tops out at 168 mph, as opposed to 4.8 seconds and 155 mph for the standard model. To extract extra performance for the Performance, Audi engineers reprogrammed the five-cylinder engine, gave it a higher-capacity radiator, and “optimized” the car’s fuel pump.
To go along with the horsepower bump, the Audi RS Q3 Performance has sports suspension that is 0.8 inch lower than a standard Q3; an RS Sport Suspension with adaptive dampers is available as an option. As on the regular RS Q3, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission dishes out power to the Quattro all-wheel-drive system.
In terms of visual enhancements, the Performance treatment sees the Audi RS Q3 donning matte-finish 20-inch wheels, red-painted brake calipers, matte-finish exterior chrome trim, new front and rear fascias, and an RS-exclusive Ascari Blue paint option. Within the cabin, the Audi RS Q3 Performance benefits from gray instruments with white dials and red needles, an RS leather-wrapped steering wheel, and “carbon twill blue” trim pieces.
The Audi RS Q3 Performance makes its public debut at the Geneva auto show in March and goes on sale in Europe soon thereafter.