Audi unwraps rapid RS Q3 for Geneva – MSN Autos

27 Feb 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Audi unwraps rapid RS Q3 for Geneva – MSN Autos
Audi A4 allroad guattro

Compact SUV packs a punch

Audi says the RS Q3 will sprint from zero to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds.

Audi has added the first in what company insiders suggest will eventually be an extended range of SUVs in its high performance RS lineup with the unveiling of the turbocharged RS Q3.

It will be displayed in March at the Geneva Motor Show. The RS Q3 crowns the popular Q3 lineup with straight-line performance that puts it at the sharp end of the compact SUV ranks, ahead of competition such as the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder BMW X1 .

Audi’s plans for North American sales of the RS Q3 remain unclear. But with standard Q3 models yet to go on sale in the U.S. market, prospective customers look to be in for a long and possibly futile wait. Audi has confirmed the model will reach European showrooms during the third quarter of this year.

More coverage from the Geneva Motor Show

Previewed in concept-car form at last year’s Beijing motor show, the RS Q3 is distinguished from lesser Q3 models by a series of traditional RS design elements. They include a high gloss black honeycomb grille insert, matte aluminum grille frame, deeper front bumper with sizeable air ducts for the engine bay and front brakes, color-keyed wheel arch flares, deeper sills underneath the doors, matte aluminum exterior mirror housings, a more prominent spoiler atop the tailgate, and a deeper rear bumper with integral diffuser unit and larger chrome tailpipe. The front and rear bumpers add one inch to the length compared with the standard Q3, extending it to 173.6 inches.

At the heart of the go-fast SUV is Audi’s turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder gasoline engine, as used in the TT RS and recently discontinued RS3. In the RS Q3, the transversely mounted unit kicks out about 306 hp at 5,200 rpm along with roughly 310 lb-ft of torque on a rev band between 1,500 and 5,200 rpm.

View Slideshow:   Sport utilities: SUVs with spunk

The heady reserves are channeled through a standard seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox offering three drive modes: D (drive), S (sport) and M (manual). Also included is a launch-control function designed to provide optimal traction under hard standing start acceleration.

Drive is permanently transferred through an electro-hydraulic operated multi-plate Haldex-style clutch all-wheel-drive system to each wheel with the distribution between the front and rear varying depending on the amount of available grip.

Audi claims the 3,814-lb RS Q3 sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 5.5 seconds, with top speed limited to 155 mph. With the adoption of automatic stop/start — a first for Audi’s turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder — Ingolstadt’s latest performance model is also claimed to return 26.7 mpg.

Audi A4 allroad guattro

Read:   2013 Audi A4 allroad quattro review

There have been myriad changes to the suspension, which has been lowered and fitted with stiffer springs, dampers and larger diameter anti-roll bars for added body control. The RS Q3 has 19-inch wheels standard, with a selection of three different 20-inch rims available as an option. The brakes have also been upgraded with 14.4-inch steel discs using a distinctive wave design that is claimed to reduce weight, and eight-piston front calipers.

Inside, the Audi receives gray-faced instruments, leather-trimmed sport seats with RS Q3 logos embossed into the backs, a leather bound flat-bottom three spoke multi-function steering wheel with contrasting stitching, matching gear lever trim, black piano finish trims, aluminum pedals and foot support and a black headliner. A driver information system provides information on turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and lap timer.

The RS Q3 is the fourth new RS model to be confirmed for introduction this year — following the RS5 cabriolet, RS6 Avant and RS7 — as Audi is in the process of boosting its lineup of high performance models to eight.

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Audi A4 allroad guattro
Audi A4 allroad guattro
Audi A4 allroad guattro
Audi A4 allroad guattro
Audi A4 allroad guattro
Audi A4 allroad guattro

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