The Audi RS Q3 and the Audi RS Q3 Sportback are synonymous with strength and outstanding performance.The Singleframe with no colour-contrasting surround in the compact SUV creates an even sharper impression. The gloss black grill with three-dimensional honeycomb structure is inset deeper and directly into the RS bumper with its large side air inlets. The striking boomerang-shaped blades in the bumper are designed exclusively for the RS Q3. The RS genes are also apparent in the flat slits above the Singleframe radiator grille.
With its downward sloping coupe-like roof line, the RS Q3 Sportback is with a height of 1,557 millimetres (5.1 ft) 45 millimetres (1.8 in) lower than the RS Q3. The rising shoulder line on the Sportback is set farther down than on the sister model, lowering the body’s optical centre of gravity. As such, the body appears even more muscular and the wheels larger. Both Audi Sport high-performance sports cars underscore their performance aspiration with pronounced muscles over the wheel arches, which have been flared by 10 millimetres (0.4 in).
The rear design also appears very powerful. With the low rear window and the roof edge spoiler with RS-specific spoiler lip in gloss black, the RS Q3 Sportback appears even wider than its sister model. The low-slung roof line culminates in strong, flat sloping D-pillars. The RS-specific long roof edge spoiler in the RS Q3 emphasizes the pronounced forward thrust of the high-performance SUV and ensures improved downforce. The new generation of the RS Q3 comes for the first time with a dual-branch RS exhaust system with large oval tailpipes on both sides and chrome-coloured trims. This exhaust system sits in an RS-specific bumper with rear diffuser and horizontal blades in gloss black. The blades are available in matt aluminium as an option. The high-performance SUVs come standard with LED headlights. Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators and RS-specific darkened trims are available as an option. The rear lights also feature LED technology.
The standard RS sport suspension lowers the body by 10 millimetres (0.4 in) compared with the Audi Q3 and Q3 Sportback. Its consistently sporty tuning satisfies the basic requirements for the outstanding handling of the two sport compacts. The RS-tuned progressive steering also conveys close contact with the road even on fast bends.
At the front axle with its MacPherson design featuring lower wishbones, the track width is 1,590 millimetres (5.22 ft). In the rear, the four-link design provides a track width of 1,583 millimetres (5.19 ft). For the first time on a compact high-performance SUV, Audi Sport offers 21-inch wheels in various rim designs. Behind the standard 20-inch or optional 21-inch wheels, the all-new six-piston RS steel brake system works with ventilated and perforated disks measuring 375 millimetres (14.8 in) (front) and 310 millimetres (12.2 in) (rear, not perforated). Their brake calipers are painted black as standard and are available in red as an option. The brake calipers of the optional, all-new RS ceramic brakes are available optionally in grey, red or blue. In front, the braking power is generated by newly developed monoblock aluminium calipers and ceramic brake disks that are 380 millimetres (15.0 in) in diameter. At the rear, floating calipers and steel disks measuring 310 mm (12.2 in) in diameter ensure the necessary deceleration.
As an option the new RS Q3** and RS Q3 Sportback** are available with the RS sport suspension plus with Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC). Here an electrically actuated proportional valve regulates the flow of oil into the damper pistons. The Audi drive select dynamic handling system also influences the optional RS sport suspension plus with damper control, in which sensors measure movements of the vehicle body. The RS-tuned dampers are then adjusted accordingly to the road surface conditions and driving situation. The suspension provides the optimum damping force for each damper within milliseconds – low for hard bumps; high to brace the body during fast cornering or when braking. The upshot is enhanced driving dynamics, precise stability and agile handling coupled with even greater comfort.
The athletic design of the exterior is echoed in the car’s interior. The emphasis on the horizontal lines conveys a generous sense of space. The air-conditioning control unit, the centre console and the MMI touch display are tilted toward the driver by ten degrees – the entire cockpit is very much designed with the driver in mind. The engine can be started using the optional start-stop button with its red ring.
The architecture of the instrument panel with the Audi virtual cockpit in the RS design harmonises perfectly with the operating concept. The MMI touch display with its high-gloss black glass-look surround slots in seamlessly as another central element. As an option, the driver can choose the larger Audi virtual cockpit plus with shift light display that prompts the driver to upshift when the maximum engine speed is reached. Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit plus also provide information on tire pressure, torque, power output, lap times, g-forces and acceleration measurements.
Sport seats in black leather/Alcantara with RS embossing express the athletic character of the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback. The RS sport seats in fine Nappa leather with RS-specific honeycomb pattern and integrated head restraints are available for the first time in the Q3 family. Their contrasting stitching comes standard in gloss black, and optionally in red or blue. When selecting one of the two RS design packages in red or blue, highlights on the steering wheel rim, belt straps, floor mats and gear lever are coloured while the steering wheel and selector lever come in Alcantara. With the extended RS design packages, the panels and door armrests are trimmed in red or blue Alcantara. Inlays in Aluminium Race, anthracite, optionally in piano finish, black, or carbon, round out the sporty interior. For the first time, the interior can also be finished entirely in black.
Entry lighting with Audi Sport projection in the doors welcomes the driver and front passenger. RS logos adorn the interior on the steering wheel and the illuminated front door sill trims. The RS sport leather steering wheel, flattened at the bottom, including newly designed shift paddles comes with multifunction buttons that allow the driver to control the two optional RS modes in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. The RS-specific displays open automatically in the Audi virtual cockpit plus.