18 Apr
Possibly the world's first production sport compact SUV?

Cars making their woldwide debut at the Beijing Motor Show next week are beginning to make their leaky appearances on the web, among the first of which is Audi who has unveiled another possible iteration of its Q3 compact SUV. This time the Q3 boldly boasts the Four Ring’s vaunted “RS” badges, which means this iteration will be peppered with some high performance muscle augmented by the necessary visual cues. The RS Q3 gets a turbocharged 360hp version of the direct injection 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, giving the SUV a 0-62 (0-100 km/h) time of 5.2 seconds with a very respectable top speed of 165 mph (265 km/h). As is typical of the RS line, the Q3 will also get visual augmentations like flared fenders bulging with 20″ rims, and will be lowered by about an inch. Copious Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP) parts are used throughout (matte black front spoiler, side sills, door mirrors, wheelarch extensions, etc), and the rear gets dual elliptical tail pipes and a roof spoiler. Even the interior gets a revision, popping off its electric blue-on-blue Nappa leather and Alcantara wrapping with bright aluminum accents. With the RS Q3, Audi is trying to be the first manufacturer to offer a truly high-performance option in the compact SUV segment — and although this is technically a “concept” car, there is no reason why Audi could not bring this car to market fairly quickly; it looks very production ready. And considering the brand’s immense success in China, it is no coincidence that they chose to debut the RS Q3 in Beijing. Let’s see how this develops…

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