With Audi having unleashed the production 2019 Q3 this week, our attention has turned to the upcoming performance variants, the “SQ3” and “RS Q3”. And this prototype filmed on the ‘Ring, is certainly hiding some performance upgrades beneath its well-camouflaged skin.
In fact, from the sounds of it, we could be looking at the top-of-the-line member of the premium subcompact SUV, the RS Q3, which will go head-to-head with the next Mercedes-AMG GLA 45.
Believed to be powered by the turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine of its hot hatch sibling, the RS3 Sportback, the Audi RS Q3 could benefit from as much as 400PS (394hp / 294kW) and 480Nm (354lb-ft) of torque. The 0-100km/h (0-62mph) acceleration could drop to around 4.5 seconds, and top speed will probably be limited to 250km/h (155mph), or 270km/h (168mph).
Expect a series of chassis upgrades over the regular Q3 models of the second generation in the case of the new Audi RS Q3, including a stiffer suspension with specially-tuned electronic dampers and a lot bigger brakes.
On the outside, the performance-oriented model will flaunt a new grille and vented bumpers on both ends. Changes will be seen in the cabin, too, where the RS Q3 will welcome model-specific sport seats, instrument cluster and trim elements to set it apart from the rest of the Q3 models.
Those who might find the upcoming RS Q3 a bit too extreme, or rather, too expensive, will be able to choose a lesser variant, which will drop the ‘R’ from the naming scheme. The Audi SQ3, which is also being developed alongside the rest of the family, will be powered by the S3 Sportback’s turbo’d 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, making some 310PS (306hp / 228kW) and 380Nm (280lb-ft) of torque.
Both should drop into Audi dealerships in the second or third quarter of next year.