335bhp SUV concept at Beijing motor show; powered by Audi TT RS's turbo five-pot
Mark Tisshaw
23 April 2012

The Audi Q3 RS shows Audi "exploring the potential" of a high-performance SUV. It has been unveiled at the Beijing motor show ahead of the standard Q3's launch into China later this year.

The concept is the first time Audi’s RS skunkworks has developed anything other than a conventional hatchback, saloon or estate. Mercedes’ AMG performance arm has long been producing high-performance SUVs, while BMW M’s controversial X5 M and X6 M models have proved to be a commercial success.

The RS Q3 concept uses a highly tuned version of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder found in the Audi RS3 and TT-RS. Power is increased in the turbocharged TFSI unit by 20bhp to 355bhp. An increase in torque over the 332lb ft produced in standard form has not been confirmed.

The result of the extra power is a 0-62mph time of just 5.2sec and the ability to reach a 164mph top speed. Drive is channeled through all four wheels using a seven-speed dual-clutch S tronic transmission. The concept features Quattro permanent all-wheel drive.

The RS Q3 concept has also undergone a series of chassis and styling changes over its more humble siblings. The RS Q3 has been lowered by 25mm, and sports suspension has been fitted.

Externally, the RS Q3 is distinguished by its muscular RS styling kit. At the front, there’s a new 3D-effect black honeycomb grille, tinted headlights, a redesigned front bumper with sculpted air intakes, and a spoiler made from carbonfibre-reinforced plastics (CFPR).

Flared side skirts and wheel arches give the RS Q3 a wider stance, while a long rear spoiler gives the RS Q3 a purposeful profile. At the rear, there’s a new bumper with diffuser insert, plus two large tailpipes. The concept is finished in striking Ordos Blue paintwork.

The blue and black-themed interior has also undergone a makeover compared to standard Q3s. Black Nappa leather seats get contrasting blue Alcantara stitching, while blue is also used for CFPR and Alcantara trim panels.

As a nod to its Chinese launch, Chinese characters are used on the tachometer.

Also on Audi's Beijing show stand is the Q3 Jinlong Yufeng concept. It's finished in a special livery that's a nod to the Chinese year of the dragon.

Our Verdict

The Audi Q3 is a desirable and capable contender that fails to engage its driver, which ultimately, leaves it trailing the BMW X1 and the Range Rover Evoque

Join the debate


18 April 2012

They've gotta make this! I think it looks great!

The standard Q3 looks a bit weedy IMO, this really addresses that.

With that engine too...superb...

However....will it ride or handle well??

18 April 2012

[quote Crixter]They've gotta make this! I think it looks great![/quote] As someone who doesn't like Audi's in general, and the Q3 even less, I have to admit it does look rather good [quote Crixter]However....will it ride or handle well??[/quote] It's an Audi. Unless proven otherwise, I will say not a chance it will ride properly, and handling will be safe.

18 April 2012

[quote superstevie] As someone who doesn't like Audi's in general, and the Q3 even less, I have to admit it does look rather good[/quote]

I agree. The normal Q3 looks horrid, but this looks alright - like an RS3 that's been jacked up a bit!

18 April 2012


And it will have the predictably hard ride and poor lifeless steering.

And a predictably high price tag.

Pointless car.

18 April 2012

Oh dear!!! The blinged up,hard riding Audi philosophy continues with no end in sight.

18 April 2012

[quote Flash Harry]Oh dear!!! The blinged up,hard riding Audi philosophy continues with no end in sight.[/quote] Party frock VW?

Peter Cavellini.

18 April 2012

How long before we see an Evoque "RS"????

18 April 2012

[quote curious_insider]

How long before we see an Evoque "RS"????


I wouldn't at all be surprised if we do see one. I think many would die laughing though...

18 April 2012

A compact SUV with an already pretty compromised ground clearance is lowered. Somebody please try to explain the reason behind it (knowing how there is an RS3), and "because I'm worth it" doesn't count ;-)

18 April 2012

As an old rally man and having had the original Quattro for myself (the Mrs at the time had the Coupe GT CC) I WANT THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING I HAVE SEEN - mainly because that 5cyl lump is absilutely fabulous - the sound (most unusual) the feeling the memories - oh hell I want one so badly and it is actually the first Audi I have wanted since that original Quattro.. :-)


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