It's fine with us so long as we get the RS3.
Audi has a spotty history when it comes to offering its high-performance RS cars in the United States. The first-ever RS car, the 1994 RS2, was never sold in the US and it wasn't until the 2003 model year when the RS6 finally arrived in sedan form that we got our first RS car. Since then, Audi has been highly selective with which RS models it decides to offer in the US. The RS4 has come and gone, the RS5 has been around for two generations now, and we have a slew of incoming models like the RS7 Sportback, RS Q8, and the long-awaited RS6 Avant.
But one RS model that puzzlingly is not coming to the US is the RS Q3. Based on the Audi Q3, this pint-sized crossover packs the same 400 horsepower 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder round in the RS3. There was some hope that Audi might decide to bring it stateside but the company has completely put the kibosh on those dreams.
"The market for a compact high-performance SUV is simply too limited in the US," Audi USA spokesperson Mark Dahncke told CarBuzz when asked why the RS Q3 won't be sold here. We thought the strong popularity of crossovers in the US might tempt Audi but Dahncke seems to have a point because the only competitor in this space was the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45. BMW does sell an M35i variant of the X2 but with 301 hp, it would be a closer competitor to an SQ3, not an RS model. Looking around at the luxury sales figures in the US, the larger compact class of crossovers like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, and Mercedes GLC sell in higher numbers than the sub-compact class.
We have a feeling the RS Q3 simply would have been too expensive to sell in the US market. The standard Q3 can reach nearly $50,000 fully-loaded and that's with only a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 228 hp. For an RS version, Audi would have likely charged well over $60,000. As a fantastic consolation prize, the RS3 sedan is still offered in the US starting for $56,200 and includes the same wonderful five-cylinder sound.