In recent months, a new generation of more predatory, more ferocious and wilder machines has emerged from the gates of Audi’s Ingolstadt HQ, known simply by the moniker ‘performance’. Positioned above the mere mortal RS breed, these high-octane, high-powered super-saloons are the new flagbearers for Audi performance engineering.
Now, joining the existing 597bhp RS 6 and RS 7 performance variants in this new wave of models is the all-new Audi RS Q3 performance, a 367bhp firecracker equipped with rugged quattro AWD and capable of pushing the dial up to 167mph.
At the heart of the latest top spec Audi beast is a revised version of the 2.5-litre powertrain voted “International Engine of the Year” in its category for the past six years. An enhanced radiator unit with greater cooling capacity as well as an upgraded fuel pump unleashes an extra 27bhp compared to the RS Q3 whilst peak torque sits at 343.0 lb/ft between 1,625 and 5,550 rpm. Quicker off the mark than its ‘standard’ sibling, the new Audi RS Q3 Performance takes just 4.4 seconds to break the 62mph barrier from rest before sprinting towards that enhanced 167mph top speed marker.
S-tronic seven-speed transmission complements the obligatory quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, distributing power automatically between the front and rear axles as required.
RS sport suspension, available as standard on the performance edition, lowers the body by 20 millimetres compared with the base Q3 whilst the optional sport suspension plus package comes equipped with damper control and selection of Comfort, Auto and Dynamic ride settings.
The Audi RS Q3 performance, as with its RS 6 and RS 7 stablemates, gets a splash of subtle styling tweaks to set it out from the base model, including large air inlets up front, a heavily profiled diffuser insert at the rear and gloss black honeycomb grilles.
The new ‘Ascari’ blue metallic paint option glimpsed in the official release images is also exclusive to the RS Q3 performance edition. The ultimate Q3 variant also sports a set of RS-specific 20-inch matt titanium alloys with red callipers bearing the RS logo.
Inside the cabin, each leather sports seat is embroidered with blue honeycomb stitching whilst a smattering of blue is also applied to elements such as the RS sport leather steering wheel, the center armrest and the floor mats.
The all-new Audi RS Q3 performance slots into the UK range above the ‘standard’ RS Q3 this month. The ultimate in Audi crossover performance can be yours for £49,175.