It is common knowledge these days the small to midsize CUV/SUV market is on fire! Contrary to this, small to medium-size sedans are disappearing from brand line-ups at an unprecedented rate. What is an automaker to do but react to the times? Audi is quick to the line with their newest SUV variant, the RS Q3 performance and it appears to have the necessary specs to keep the utility vehicle winning streak going strong.

Power comes from the award-winning 2.5-litre TFSI turbocharged 5-cylinder engine. It boosts 367 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque. Matched to a 7-speed S tronic transmission, the RS Q3 performance accelerates to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is listed at 270 km/h. Although it won’t set any records, Audi states projected fuel economy numbers deliver a combined rating of 8.6 L/100 km.

Manual gear changes are available by using either the gear selector lever or steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters. Setting the Audi drive select to dynamic handling results in double-declutching for each gear change to maximize performance. Audi quattro permanent all-wheel drive is standard, distributing power evenly to the front and rear axles as necessary.

Exterior design changes from the regular Audi Q3 include lowering the vehicle by 20 millimeters for improved road manners. Large air vents grace the front bumper, while in back an aggressive lower rear diffuser helps manage airflow and create downforce as speed increases.

Matt titanium finish is applied to the air inlet ducts, door mirrors, the roof rails and rear roof spoiler plus more. Exclusive Ascari Blue Metallic paint is limited to the RS performance version of the Q3. RS specific 20-inch five-spoke alloy wheels finish off an exciting exterior profile.

Inside, gray-faced gauges highlight white dials and red needles. Black and blue seating is standard, the fabric that is, and hopefully not your backside. The RS performance interior design package is optional at no charge. Leather graces the steering wheel, shift lever, armrest, all with contrasting blue stitching. Carbon fiber accents feature carbon blue twill, highlighting a blue thread woven throughout.

The Audi RS Q3 performance will make its official debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and go on sale immediately after starting in Europe first and then expanding to other markets around the world.

About The Author

Jeff Voth

Jeff’s stories are published around the world. He has written for Sun Media in Canada since 2005, Bombardier Experience magazine, Cigar Aficionado in the U.S., South Africa’s Live Out Loud and Singapore’s Prestige magazine. As an automotive authority, Jeff has held numerous senior editor positions, including a four year tenure as the Editor-at-large for Yahoo! Autos based in Sunnyvale, California. On a weekly basis, Jeff works closely with brands that include Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Genesis and world-famous hotel brands that include The Ritz-Carlton, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels, Four Seasons to name a few. Suffice it to say, Jeff has lived his entire professional life surrounded by many of the best and most exclusive brands in the world. It is this experience as a celebrated journalist and life-long storyteller that Jeff brings to his position as Founder and Editor of Life begins at 300 km/h! @jeffnvoth

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