Audi RS Q3 Breaks Cover

2013 Geneva Motor Show

Audi's first RS crossover will make its live debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

The hottestSUV in Audi’s lineup has been unveiled ahead of its live premiere at next month’sGeneva Motor Show, with the new RS Q3 to be the first of a wide range of SUVs inthe carmaker’s high-performance RS line-up. With a 2.5-literfive-cylinder turbo good for 306 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque helping itto sprint from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 155mph, the RS Q3will outmuscle the BMW X1 in a straight line.

However it will face competition from Mercedes’ upcoming GLA45 AMG that will be powered by the same 354hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot in the A45 AMG. Like the RS Q3 concept from last year’s Beijing Motor Show, Audi distinguishes the high-performance model from lesser Q3 models with familiar RS design elements including matte aluminum body accents and roof rails, a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, a large roof spoiler, RS front bumper with Quattro emblem, a rear bumper with distinctive diffuser insert, and a single large elliptical tailpipe.

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At 4.41m in length, it’s also 25mm longer than the Q3 thanks to the new bumpers, and weighs in at 1,730 kg. An exclusive shade of Sepang Blue pearl effect further distinguishes the RS Q3. Power is sent to the tarmac via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that offers D (drive), S (sport) and M (manual) modes through Audi’s Quattro permanent all-wheel-drive system. Launch control is also a feature, while with automatic stop/start, Ingolstadt’s high-performance SUV claims to return 26.73 mpg (US avg.).The RS Q3 is sitting pretty on a set standard 19-inch alloys, with a choice of 20-inch alloys available as an option.

These include the 5 dual-spoke V design wheels that debuted on the concept. A reworked suspension lowers the car by 25mm over other Q3 models further improving its squat stance and features stiffer springs and dampers, and bigger anti-roll bars. Brakes also receive upgrades in the form of 365mm steel discs with a weight-saving wave design and eight-piston black-painted calipers. Inside can be found leather- and Alcantara-trimmed sports seats with embossed logos, a gray faced instrument cluster, a leather-wrapped flat-bottom three-spoke multi-function steering wheel.

There's also black piano trim, aluminum pedals and black headlining, while an MMI and information system can display boost pressure, oil temperature and lap timer, and a fourteen-speaker Bose surround sound system provides the tunes. Audi has priced the RS Q3 at 54,600 Euros in Germany with deliveries to start in the fall.