The camouflage is starting to come off the new range-topping Audi Q3.
Audi recently lifted the covers off the all-new Q3 featuring more aggressive styling and larger proportions, but it won’t be long before more hardcore variants of the luxury crossover arrive. Spy shots have shown that Audi Sport is giving the Q3 the RS treatment, and now another prototype has been spotted in Southern Europe hiding under less camouflage than before.
Once again, the most obvious clue that we’re looking at the new range-topping Q3 are the oval exhaust tips, which are usually reserved for the hot RS models. The rear bumper is also more sculpted and has a small diffuser between the exhaust pipes.
At the front, the RS Q3 prototype now sports a production bumper with aggressive air intakes, while the grille has a new pattern that appears to be standard for new RS models as the grille on an RS Q8 prototype had a similar pattern. It also looks similar to the grille on the recently facelifted R8. Earlier prototypes of the Audi RS Q3 were also seen sporting bigger brakes with ceramic discs and what looked like six-piston calipers.
As for the powertrain, the RS Q3 is expected to be powered by the same 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine found in the RS3 and TT RS tuned to deliver around 400 hp. Unlike the last model, it should also be available in the US. Don’t expect the hardcore Q3 to arrive any time soon though since even the base Q3 doesn’t go on sale in the US until next year.
After that, the SQ3 is due to arrive sometime in 2019, which will most likely adopt the S3’s 2.0-liter TFSI that produces 292 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque, so we aren't expecting to see the RS Q3 go on sale until late 2019 or early 2020.