Forbidden Fruit: Audi Unveils New Hi-Po Crossover

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US folk will have to admire this from afar.

The world has become obsessed with compact SUVs and crossovers, but enthusiasts still prefer conventional vehicles that are more entertaining to drive. That might all change with Audi’s latest performance version of RS-badged car. The German automaker has introduced the RS Q3 Performance that promises to be faster and even more powerful than the already wacky crossover. The RS Q3 had our attention, but this “performance” model has us hoping that Audi will have the guts to bring it over to the US.

The RS Q3’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine has had its cooling system reworked for better cooling capacity for the main radiator, along with a modified fuel pump. This has increased performance by 27 hp, which brings the total up to 367 hp. Torque is also up at 343 lb-ft from 331 lb-ft, which brings the zero to 62 mph time down. The RS Q3 Performance can get to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, while the top speed has also been raised to 168 mph. It may be hard on the eyes, but this crossover is sports car quick. Engineers have also fiddled with the standard 7-speed S tronic transmission, while the RS sport suspension plus with damper controls is an available option for the car.

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To differentiate the RS Q3 Performance from the base model, the exterior gets updated bumpers with massive air inlets in the front and a diffuser insert at the back, matte titanium finish for add-on parts, honeycomb grilles, roof edge spoiler, Quattro logo, roof rails, Ascari Blue metallic paint and bespoke RS 20-inch wheels. The RS Q3 Performance can already be ordered in Germany where it costs roughly $66,900. The crossover will make its debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show next month.

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