The Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback are now available in South Africa.
The Sportback derivative is the first of its kind for the Q3 range, and offers an elongated roofline and differentiated look from the rest of the line-up.
The entire Q3 range is also updated using the brand’s latest design language.
The distinctive Audi singleframe grille adorns the front of the new RS Q3, and is filled with a gloss-black honeycomb design.
Below it, the RS-exclusive bumper features large air inlets with sharper “boomerang-shaped” blades; and above, the functional flat slits conclude the front fascia.
Due to the sloping roof of the Sportback body style, it sits around 45mm lower than its sibling – and has a rising shoulder line that is set further down, too.
Both, however, receive flared wheel arches that are 10mm wider than the standard variants, 21-inch RS wheels, as well as a rear roof-edge spoiler.
They also sit around 10mm lower than the non-RS versions, thanks to the standard RS sport suspension.
Another first for the range is the oval RS double-exhaust outlets that integrate into the aggressively-styled rear bumper.
All the exterior lights on these vehicles then get LEDs, and the front side features dynamic indicators.
The cockpit of the RS Q3 was designed with the driver in mind, according to Audi.
As a result, the air-conditioning unit, centre console, and MMI touch display are all angled toward the driver’s chair by 10 degrees.
With the standard Audi virtual cockpit plus, the driver has a large screen behind the steering wheel that displays important vehicle information, as well as a shift light that lets them know when it is most effective to change gears.
As part of the RS treatment, this screen will get an RS specific section where additional information such as tyre pressure, torque, power output, lap times, g-force, and acceleration measurements are presented.
Amenities covered by the MMI navigation plus system include smartphone mirroring features along with Bluetooth inputs, while a standard Bang and Olufsen sound system delivers the audio experience.
A rear view camera is also fitted, and lane departure warning along with progressive steering provides the driver with ample assistance.
Every seat is then covered in Nappa leather and finished with honeycomb stitching to match the grille; while two additional RS styling packages will see several cabin elements finished in RS-exclusive colours.
To ensure that your sporty SUV provides some practicality, however, it has been designed as a “fully-fledged five-seater model”.
As such, the rear seats can move a maximum of 150mm, be split in three ways and tilted in seven stages, and the luggage compartment offers 530 litres of space.
This can be extended to 1,400 litres in the Sportback model, and a maximum of 1,525 litres in the “normal” variant.
Audi has fitted a 2.5-litre, five-cylinder, petrol engine that is mated to a seven-speed S-tronic transmission – which offers 17% more power than the previous-generation motor.
The combination generates 294kW and 480Nm of torque, and will send the RS Q3 from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
Top-speed is regulated at 250km/h, but this can be extended to 280km/h with an optional upgrade – at an additional cost.
Drive is handled by the quattro all-wheel-drive system, and torque is distributed to the corners that need it most via the wheel-selective torque control program.
Drivers can then adjust the dynamic characteristics through six drive modes; and red-painted, six-piston RS steel brakes provide sufficient stopping power.
The Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback are available in South Africa from 1 April, priced as follows:
- Audi RS Q3 TFSI Quattro – R1,094,000
- Audi RS Q3 Sportback TFSI Quattro – R1,128,000
Each model is sold with a 5-year/100,000km Audi Freeway Plan.