Planned to be introduced during the second half of 2017, the Q5 RS is being developed by Audi’s Quattro performance car division at its headquarters in Neckarsulm, Germany alongside the fourth-generation RS4 and second-generation RS5, with which it will share its engine, dual clutch S tronic gearbox and Torsen torque-sensing four-wheel drive system.
The new Q5 RS forms an integral part of plans that chairman Rupert Stadler says will enable Audi to increase its presence in the performance SUV ranks in coming years.
“We’ve identified increasing demand for performance-based SUVs in all of our key global markets. When we launched the RS Q3 we expected it to do well, but the sales have topped our expectations. We think we can build on this with a larger and more powerful model,” he said.
The Q5 RS is planned to run the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine set to be unveiled in the new RS4 and RS5 due out later this year.
The newly developed engine will replace Quattro’s naturally aspirated 4.2-litre V8 petrol powerplant, with a claimed output to match that of the competition package recently announced for the BMW M3 and M4 at more than 450bhp.
The Q5 RS will be assembled alongside other Q5 models at Audi's new $1.3 billion manufacturing plant in San Jose Chiapa, Mexico.