Audi is working on a redesign for its Q3 and today we have new spy shots of a prototype for a high-performance RS Q3 from the Audi Sport division.
Previously thought to be a tester for a new SQ3 variant, our sources have confirmed that this is in fact a future RS Q3. It means Audi will likely once again go straight from the regular Q3 to the RS Q3, just like with the previous generation.
We know the prototype is for a performance variant because of the extra exhaust tips. Expect these makeshift units to change on later prototypes as RS cars typically feature a pair of fat oval-shaped exhausts and not the quad-tip arrangement you see here. The prototype also sports lowered suspension, chunky brake discs at the front, and an aggressive front fascia.
The powertrain should be the 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5 fitted to the RS 3 (you’ll notice an RS 3 being used as a benchmark in some of the shots). The engine delivers a stout 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque in the RS 3 and we can expect something similar for the RS Q3. Look for 0-60 mph acceleration to come in under 5.0 seconds.
The current RS Q3, which was never offered in the United States, has 340 hp in standard form and 367 in Performance guise, so this new one should be notably quicker. It will need all the performance it can muster as we hear that Mercedes-AMG’s next GLA45 will have over 400 hp.
The redesigned Q3 will be revealed later this year and is due in showrooms next year as a 2020 model. Expect the RS Q3 to trail it by six months to a year. Additional Audi Sport SUVs in the works include an RS Q5 and RS Q8.