“The RS Q3 transfers the performance philosophy of Audi to the compact SUV segment, thereby creating a new performance class,” said quattro managing director Franciscus van Meel.
Apart from confirming the car’s debut, Audi also verified that it will come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine — like the concept version seen last year. Unfortunately, output shrank to 50 hp to 310 for the production car, likely in the interest of saving fuel. Starting at 1,500 rpm, the engine also offers almost 310 lb-ft of torque all the way through 5,200 rpm.
That might seem like a disappointment, but Audi also claims the car can achieve “26.73 U.S. mpg.” That’s likely based on the European test cycle, which is much more generous than EPA estimates.
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Of course, Audi is also offering selectable drive modes to influence flap control for the exhaust system and throttle response. In its most aggressive mode, the car will run from 0-62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.5 seconds. Again, that’s slower than the concept, but that’s not such a surprise.
Drivers can look forward to a standard seven-speed S tronic dual clutch transmission that directs power to all four wheels via the brand’s quattro all-wheel drive system.
Not only that, but the car is lowered almost a full inch compared to the normal Q3 and sits on a much stiffer suspension. The car also gets vented and perforated front brake discs and eight-piston calipers.
Just like the rest of Audi’s performance vehicles, the cabin gets sport seats, as well as special RS stitching and aluminum accents. Audi says the car will reach dealers in Germany by this fall, but neglected to discuss a U.S. launch. The Q3 isn’t currently sold in the U.S., but will reach the North American in either late 2013 or early 2014. Given that, it’s especially hard not to look at the brand’s choice to release U.S. mpg figures without inferring that the RS Q3 will be sold in North America.
“In addition to the RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback, the RS Q3 is the fourth RS model that we are launching on the market in 2013. The RS family is growing to eight members – more than ever,” van Meel said.
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