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Auto blogWed, 07 Aug 2013 13:32:00 EST
Rumors out of Australia say we'll be seeing a new variant of the Audi Q7 when the next-generation models bows in a few years. Joining the diesel and gas range will be the second production member of Audi's E-Tron family, which was introduced by the R8 E-Tron, but will actually see production in the form of the A3 E-Tron.
Speaking with Audi's managing director in Australia, Andrew Doyle, Car Advice asked what the future held now that the electrified R8 had effectively been shelved. "I don't see it [R8 E-Tron] as a major thing for us. We'll launch [locally] with A3, followed by Q7..."
The new Q7 will share its platform with the Volkswagen Group's two other large SUVs, the Porsche Cayenne and Volkswagen Touareg. But, as Car Advice is quick to point out, the Porsche and VW variants are slated for arrive next year - the second-generation Q7 won't arrive until 2015. Doyle refused to explain the discrepancy.
There was little usual about this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans - intermittent rain in the weeks before the race meant cars didn't get on track as much as they wanted, and intermittent rain during the race meant cars went off track a lot more than they wanted. The race started with a wet track, and one of the records broken because of the random downpours was the number of times the safety car led the field - 11 times this year - although the record of two hours and 53 minutes of lapping behind the safety car, set in 2011, was not eclipsed.
None of that served to dampen the action. With little more than an hour left in the race there were cars still only a few seconds apart fighting for position, leads still changing because of pit stops and everyone drafting anyone they could.
Things didn't go the usual way up front, either - well, not exactly...
Ahead of its big reveal next month at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, Audi has released a handful of images and plenty of details for the all-new RS Q3. As the first-ever crossover from the marque with RS branding, this will be the fourth RS model to go on sale this year after the RS5 Cabriolet, RS6 Avant and the RS7, and while UK and Germany sales have been confirmed, there is no word as to whether we can expect this high-performance CUV to be available in the North America.
Sharing its 2.5-liter turbocharged and direct-injected five-cylinder engine with models like the TT RS and the RS3 Sportback, the 2014 Audi RS Q3 should deliver on performance, as it pumps out 310 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque (peak torque starting at just 1,500 rpm and running up through 5,200 rpm). This potent engine is paired to Audi's seven-speed S tronic transmission and Quattro all-wheel drive. Despite its small stature, the RS Q3 still tips the scales at just over 3,800 pounds. Even so, performance figures are still impressive with a limited top of 155 miles per hour and a stated 0-62 mph time of 5.5 seconds. The RS Q3 also gets a sport suspension that has been lowered by 25 millimeters, launch control and weight-saving front rotors with a wave-cut and cross-drilled design gripped by massive eight-piston calipers.
Looking almost identical to what we saw last year in concept form in China, the 2014 RS Q3 looks just as sporty as its spec sheet suggests that it is. Up front, the fascia gets massive air intakes with silver vertical accents and, like other recent RS models, the Quattro emblem is written across the lower air intake. The silver accent motif also continues on the grille surround, mirror caps, roof rails and rear diffuser trim, and the oval exhaust outlet is also an identifying feature of Audi's RS cars.