BMW and Mercedes already have options in this segment.
Audi has always been careful to only deploy a handful of hardcore RS models in the US market, unlike its competitors from BMW M and Mercedes-AMG that stick performance badges on nearly every product. It is no surprise then that there has never been an RS Q5, even though BMW and Mercedes each compete in this segment with the X3 M and GLC63, respectively.
The 2021 Audi Q5 just received a refresh but as of right now, no RS variant has been announced. But, that doesn't mean Audi isn't considering it. Speaking with Australia's Motoring during the virtual reveal of the facelift Q5, Audi's spokesperson for its midsize SUV range, Michael Crusius, didn't shoot down the idea of an RS Q5.
"It remains exciting to see, but this is a topic that we cannot delve into," Crusius said when asked about a potential RS Q5 model. He added that the potential for an RS-powered Q5 model was, "one of the few questions we will not be able to answer today." Crusius did, however, confirm that a coupe-like Q5 Sportback is coming soon to compete with the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe.
"The Sportback is of course something that needs to be considered very much in view of the markets we deliver to and we've got different delivery times," he explained, noting that the SUV coupe should be revealed in around nine months time. Audi does offer the Europe-only RS Q3 as both a normal SUV and a Sportback, so perhaps the RS Q5 is being held off until the Q5 Sportback is revealed.
If Audi did build an RS Q5, we'd expect it to be powered by the same 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 found in the RS5 and RS5 Sportback where it produces 444 horsepower. This engine was co-developed by Porsche and helps the RS5 hit 62 mph in just 3.9 seconds. Even with 444 hp on tap and a 3.9-second 0-62 run, the RS Q5 Sportback would still be slower than the BMW X4 M and GLC 63 Coupe, so perhaps Audi has made the right decision not to go after BMW and Mercedes.