When Audi added an RS model to its popular Q3 lineup, a winner was born. Stuffing the turbocharged inline-five straight from the TT RS under the hood of its mild-mannered crossover, Audi created an extraordinary sleeper. And the automaker will be doing it again, sources in Ingolstadt are hinting.
Based on the new, second-generation Q3, the next RS Q3 will be fitted once again with the turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five. But this powerplant has since been comprehensively upgraded, and while the original RS Q3 was launched with a 306-hp rating (eventually rising to 362 horsepower), the upcoming model will snarl with at least 400 horsepower. That power will be sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Customers can expect the RS version’s body and chassis to offer significant upgrades over the Q3’s. While the RS was something of an afterthought to the previous generation, with the new Q3 Audi has planned for a sporty version from the beginning. Look for the RS Q3 to feature all the usual RS styling cues. Most important to U.S. enthusiasts, the new RS Q3 will be offered in our market, where it will take aim directly at the aging Mercedes-AMG GLA45.