Audi has made a prototype version of a turbocharged five-cylinder Q3

The men behind the incredible 493bhp Audi Q7 V12 are cooking up another performance SUV, this time a version of the brand new Audi Q3 with turbocharged five-cylinder power.

Quattro GmbH technology boss Stephan Reil arrived at the press launch of the Q3 last week with a very early prototype of the car in question: a Q3 running the 335bhp turbocharged powertrain found in a TT-RS and RS3, which is currently under evaluation for low-volume production.

See pics of the hot Audi Q3

“This is just a temperature tester for us at the moment,” Reil told Autocar. “We needed some feedback on the idea, which is why I decided to bring it to the press. But the finished car will be very different: it will have adapted suspension and body parts, and so on.”

Although it shares some under-bonnet hard points with a standard A3, the five-cylinder engine doesn’t fit as neatly into the Q3 as you might expect.

“The engine mounts are 40mm further from the bulkhead in a Q3 relative to an RS3, so we can’t just slot the engine in,” Reil explained. “We’ve made prototype plumbing and wiring for the car, which we’ll have to investigate the cost implications of before taking the car forward.”

“So far the reaction to the car has been good,” the Quattro boss went on, “but we have to make the business case before going much further. Right now it’s a fun idea, but those don’t always turn into real production cars!” 

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