New Cars

Audi improves performance of RS Q3

Still no plans to bring 362-hp tiny ute to Canada ... “this year”

2016 Audi RS Q3 Performance

Audi is dialing up its mini-ute performance with the creation of the RS Q3 Performance that kicks surface-grabbing performance up a notch. And no, there are apparently still no plans to bring it across the Atlantic.

For those keeping up with the “look how we miss out” argument, the RS Q3 is a 335-hp take on Audi’s tiny crossover/sport utility. It was first introduced in 2013 and none were mainlined for North America performance junkies.

With revisions to the award-winning 2.5-litre turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, the RS Q3 Performance takes horsepower up to 362 hp and torque up to 343 lb-ft (fully available from 1625 to 5500 rpm). Those figures help take the SUV to 100 km/h in less than 4.5 seconds and make it able to hit a top speed of 269 km/h, using a 7-speed S-tronic automatic with shift paddles.

To complement engine performance, the suspension as been specifically adapted, lowering the vehicle by 20 mm (less than an inch) from the regular Q3, resulting directly in the enhancement of handling. The RS suspension with damper control is optionally available (with driver selectable Comfort. Auto and Dynamic modes).

The exterior changes are subtle, with the main change being Titanium accents around windows and mirrors (among others), a specific grille and larger openings in the front bumper, and a diffuser in the rear. A new and exclusive Ascari blue paint scheme is also offered.

Standard RS features include LED lighting, privacy glass, power operated hatchgate, and keyless entry and starting. Inside, there is a 180-watt sound system and front heated seats.

The UK price of the new vehicle is £49,175, which is more than $99,000 Canadian. Then again, the word from Audi Canada is that “there are no plans this year” to bring the RS Q3 in.

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