Audi RS Q3 is funky, chunky, spunky forbidden fruit [w/videos]Tue, 05 Mar 2013 13:40:00 ESTAudi RS6 Avant last night, we're happy to see yet another RS-branded Audi here on the show floor at the Geneva Motor Show. Meet the RS Q3, Audi's first ever high-performance crossover, showing what's possible when the Ingolstadt automaker brings its best sporting bits to its smallest CUV.
Powering the RS Q3 is Audi's 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine – the same one found in sweetie-darlings like the TT RS and RS3. Output is rated at 310 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque, sent to all four wheels via the automaker's seven-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission. Weighing in at just over 3,800 pounds, the RS Q3 is indeed a porky little pig, but no matter – that forced-induction fire will propel the small crossover to 62 miles per hour in five and a half seconds. And that's with launch control, too.
The RS Q3 certainly looks the part of a proper sporty Audi, with exaggerated air vents and bulgy, aggressive bits all around. Honestly, we like the way the RS package has translated to the Q3 form – this design really works well on the smaller CUV package. Inside, performance-minded fittings like a flat-bottomed steering wheel, upgraded gauges and sport seats bring the whole RS pack full circle. We'll admit, we're definitely intrigued by this little guy.
But intrigued is all we're likely to be, as Audi has not confirmed any plans to offer the RS Q3 in the United States. Shame, shame, shame. Scroll down to watch a pair of videos featuring the baby RS frolicking in the snow, and while you're there, check out the press release.
First RS model in the Q series: Audi RS Q3
- Quattro GmbH chief van Meel: "The compact Audi RS Q3 creates a new class in the SUV segment."
- Combines excellent power with outstanding everyday practicality
- 2.5 TFSI with 228 kW (310 hp) and 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft), 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 5.5 s
Audi is presenting the RS Q3 at the Geneva International Motor Show, the first RS model for the successful Q line-up. It combines outstanding everyday practicality with dynamic driving performance: It takes just 5.5 seconds to complete the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.14 mph), and its top speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). The 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbo produces 228 kW (310 hp) and has an average fuel consumption of just 8.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (26.73 US mpg).
"The RS Q3 transfers the performance philosophy of Audi to the compact SUV segment, thereby creating a new performance class," says Franciscus van Meel, Managing Director of quattro GmbH. "In addition to the RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback, the RS Q3 is the fourth RS model that we are launching on the market in 2013. The RS family is growing to eight members – more than ever." The RS Q3 combines typical RS properties such as high performance and driving pleasure with lifestyle qualities and high utility value. The Audi RS Q3 was developed by quattro GmbH which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AUDI AG.
An award-winning high-performance engine, the 2.5 TFSI, is at work under the hood of the RS Q3. This five-cylinder engine has been named "International Engine of the Year" in its class for three consecutive years since 2010 by an international jury of automotive specialists. From 2,480 cc of engine displacement, the turbocharged direct-injection engine produces a maximum power of 228 kW (310 hp) at 5,200-6,700 rpm; its maximum torque of 420 Nm (309.78 lb-ft) is available between 1,500 and 5,200 rpm. These two values signify that the RS Q3 is unrivaled in its competitive field. This five-cylinder is a special engine, beginning with its fundamental concept. It is familiar from the TT RS and RS 3 Sportback, and quattro GmbH modified it for use in the RS Q3.
The 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence, supported by the geometry of the air induction and exhaust systems, generates a sporty engine sound that first made Audi popular back in the 1980s.
Drivers can influence the flap control for the exhaust system and the accelerator characteristic by choosing one of the modes auto, comfort and dynamic using the standard Audi drive select system. In the dynamic mode, engine response is sharper and the engine sound more intensive.
The 2.5 TFSI accelerates the Audi RS Q3 from a standstill to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in just 5.5 seconds – the best performance value in this segment. The vehicle's top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155.34 mph). In the RS Q3, the Audi five-cylinder engine is working together with a standard start-stop-system for the first time. Other efficiency measures such as a regulated oil pump, which only pumps lubricant when needed, contribute to the car's low average fuel consumption of 8.8 liters of fuel per 100 km (26.73 US mpg) which equates to 206 grams CO2 per km (331.52 g/mile).
A standard seven-speed S tronic transfers power to the drivetrain. It was designed in a compact three-shaft configuration, and its seventh gear has a long gear ratio to save on fuel. Drivers can choose between the D and S modes for automatic shifting of the dual clutch transmission, or they can shift manually – using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever that sports a unique RS design. The Launch Control function controls acceleration from a standstill to attain optimal traction.
The heart of the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is the hydraulically operated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch located at the rear axle. It ensures proper distribution of torque between the front and rear axles.
The Audi RS Q3 impresses with dynamic and stable handling without sacrificing comfort. The RS sports suspension lowers the body of the compact high-performance SUV by 25 mm (0.98 in). The battery is located in the luggage compartment to achieve better weight distribution. The independent rear wheel suspensions are controlled by four links.
The electro-mechanical rack and pinion steering system operates very efficiently, conveying a stiff, precise steering feeling. An electro-mechanical parking brake and hill hold assist are also standard.
In the RS Q3, the internally ventilated and perforated brake discs at the front wheels have a wave design with wave-shaped outer contours, which saves approx. one kilogram (2.20 lb) of weight at the front wheels. The discs have a diameter of 365 mm (14.37 in), and they are gripped by eight-piston calipers painted black with RS logos. The electronic stabilization control (ESC) has a sport mode, and it can also be deactivated entirely.
The Audi RS Q3 comes on the German market with standard 19-inch alloy wheels. Three versions of 20-inch wheels are offered as well. One of these is the exclusive 5 dual-spoke V design, which is based on the Audi RS Q3 concept car that was shown at the 2012 Auto China motor show.
In addition to its engine, the Audi RS Q3 also demonstrates its special status within the Q3 line-up with a number of visual highlights. RS-specific design details emphasize the confident look of the compact, high-performance SUV. They consist of body accents and roof rails in matt aluminum, special door sill plates and door trim strips, a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, RS front bumper and quattro emblem in the front air intake. A large roof spoiler, rear bumper with distinctive diffuser insert, large elliptical tailpipe and an RS Q3 logo accentuate the rear. At a length of 4,410 mm (14.47 ft), the dynamic top model is 25 mm (0.98 in) longer than the Audi Q3. It weighs in at 1,730 kg (3814.00 lb).
The Audi RS Q3 can also be customized by one of two optional styling packages – matt aluminum or black. Styling features include the flaps in the side air intakes, the trim on the diffuser and the fins on the roof spoiler. The Audi RS Q3 is available in eight exterior colors, including the exclusive Sepang Blue pearl effect.
The sporty lines of the exterior are continued in the interior styling. The instrument cluster has gray gauges with white scales and red pointers. Contrasting stitching in rock gray trim the three-spoke multifunction steering wheel with its flat bottom as well as the gear selector lever. The MMI and driver information system displays welcome the driver with the RS logo. Drivers can call up the boost pressure, oil temperature and a lap timer via the RS menu in the driver information system.
Along with the pedals, a foot support also shines in aluminum look, and the standard inlays are in piano finish black. quattro GmbH offers aluminum race or carbon as alternatives here. Black headlining is standard, and lunar silver headlining is optional.
Sport seats with embossed RS Q3 logos are also standard and are upholstered in black Alcantara/leather. Customers can also choose the optional Fine Nappa leather in black or lunar silver with contrasting stitching in rock gray or the design package with diamond stitching.
The cargo area has a base capacity of 356 liters (12.57 cubic ft), which can be increased to 1,261 liters (44.53 cubic ft) by folding down the split rear seat backs. A practical reversible loadliner is standard. Those wishing to transport even more cargo can order the towing bracket that is offered for the RS Q3.
Other standard features of the Audi RS Q3 include – in addition to the RS-specific driver information system – park assist plus, Audi sound system with ten loudspeakers, xenon plus headlights and LED tail lights. When they are not lit, the tail lights display a dark red tint.
In the infotainment area, a modular component system offers a wide range of options; at the top there is the hard-drive based navigation system, MMI Navigation plus. The surround sound system from Bose drives 14 loudspeakers with up to 465 watts of output power, while the Bluetooth car phone online together with WLAN hotspot connects the compact high-performance SUV with the Internet and brings the online services of Audi connect into the vehicle. Highly advanced driver assistance systems round out the options program.
In Germany, the base price is €54,600, and deliveries begin in fall 2013.
By Steven J. Ewing
See also: 2013 Audi RS6 Avant hauls ass and then some, Audi unveils A3 Sportback G-Tron with bi-fuel power, 808-mile range, Watch two Audi RS4 Avants play Death Race with paintball.