Audi overhauled its 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder to be significantly lighter.
The Audi RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback debut as two flavors of performance crossovers for folks who want a hot hatch with a more rugged, higher riding appearance. They go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of 2020, and there are no details yet for North American availability.
Gallery: Audi RS Q3 (2019)
Power for this pair comes from an updated version of Audi's 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder. It now makes 394 horsepower (294 kilowatts) and 354 pound-feet (480 Newton-meters) of torque. This is enough to get the performance crossovers to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 4.5 seconds and to a standard top speed of 155 mph (250 kph). As an option, customers can lift the max velocity to 280 kph (174 mph).
Gallery: Audi RS Q3 Sportback (2019)
The powerplant now has an aluminum crankcase, which saves 39.68 pounds (18 kilograms), and a hollow-drilled crankshaft cuts an additional kilogram (2.205 pounds). If buyers want a more aggressive sound, an RS Sport exhaust is optional and includes black tailpipe trim.
The power runs through a seven-speed gearbox to an all-wheel-drive system. The standard suspension layout sits 0.39 inches (10 millimeters) lower than the standard Q3 and Q3 Sportback. Dynamic Chassis Control adaptive dampers are an option for folks who want something more sophisticated. Six-piston brake calipers and steel rotors come from the factory, but customers can upgrade to ceramic discs with monoblock aluminum calipers.
The RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback are visually distinguished by a body-color grille surround with gloss black mesh. A revised front fascia includes larger inlets in the corners and blade-shaped accents on each side. At the back, the models gain a gloss black roof spoiler, and there are a pair of large, oval-shaped exhaust pipes emerging from the bumper. Twenty-inch wheels come standard, but 21-inch pieces are also available.
The body comes in two exclusive colors: the very bright Kyalami Green and Nardo Grey. An optional package changes the exterior's gloss black accents to have an aluminum finish.
The interior features sport seats in a mix of black Nappa leather and Alcantara. If occupants want a pop of color, there is available red or blue contrast stitching. For more visual distinction, design packages add red or blue accents to the steering wheel rim, seatbelts, doormats, and gear lever. An optional Virtual Cockpit Plus enlarges the digital instrument cluster display.