Next-gen Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback spied before reveal later year
Will Audi’s surprisingly entertaining compact performance SUV breach the 400bhp mark?
The next Audi RS Q3 is nearly ready for its debut, with both standard and Sportback models set for their debut in the coming months. Sporting less disguise than ever, it will be a welcome addition to the Audi Sport range, as oddly for a compact SUV, it has quite often been the most interactive and interesting to drive of Audi Sport's smaller models.
In these new images, we can see that the sleek Sportback variant will share much of the standard RS Q3's styling elements, with a massive wheel and tyre package, subtle wheelarch extensions and vast open grilles feeding the five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine behind.
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This pair are only the start of a very busy 6 months for the Audi Sport, who will also reveal all-new versions of the RS6 Avant, RS7 Sportback and RS Q8 SUV too.
In its previous form, the RS Q3 flagship produced 335bhp in non-plus guise, but we expect the new one to offer anything up to 395bhp thanks to its likely inclusion of the current RS3’s uprated power unit, not to mention a significant weight drop thanks to its new aluminium cylinder head. A new SQ3 model will also slot in beneath the Q3 RS, which is itself expected to offer over 300bhp – likely sourced from a turbocharged four-cylinder, and not the RS’s charismatic five.
In general terms the next generation Q3 SUV is a few centimetres longer and wider than the current model so should be noticeably more spacious. It will also feature lots of the latest Audi and VW Group tech that has already appeared elsewhere, including the excellent Audi Virtual Cockpit, and a big 9.2-inch touchscreen system. It’s built on the same MBQ platform that the VW Group puts to such good use across its brands.