With the introduction of the new facelift Audi Q3 range, Audi South Africa also revealed the RS Q3 variant, its most powerful petrol SUV in the local menu. The previous and outgoing RS Q3 was already quite heady at 228kW, but this new one eats it for breakfast. We’ll have to wait for it though, as it only arrives locally in August. Thankfully that’s not such a long wait at all.

2015 Audi RS Q3 facelift 4

The Q3 is currently Audi’s smallest SUV but will be promoted to big brother status by the upcoming Q1 in 2016. RS Q3 is the ultimate version, boasting performance credentials previously reserved for serious high-performance sedans and coupes. While it keeps the traditional 2.5-litre turbo, 5-cylinder engine, power is now up to 250kW and peak torque goes from 420Nm to 450Nm. Incidentally these are the exact same engine figures delivered by the old 2011 RS 3 Sportback. But that car was priced at R525 000 four years ago.

2015 Audi RS Q3 facelift 2

Coupled with this thrusting motor is a 7-speed double clutch S tronic gearbox that helps to send power and torque to all four wheels via the quattro all-wheel-drive (AWD) system which now features a new hydraulic multi-plate clutch. Due to these improvements, Audi promises it will now show faster gear changes. Apparently the special RS exhaust system with a switchable flap also contributes to the overall aural pleasures of the car.

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That’s perhaps partly why it’s so dang quick. On paper, the RS Q3 is said to dispatch the mandatory 0 – 100km/h time in 4.8 seconds, making it one of the quickest SUVs on the market. We’d be keen to test how this time differs from real-world times. If there’s not much of a discrepancy then it will surely throw off some big names. Top speed is 250km/h. Audi also claims 8.8 litres per 100km in fuel consumption.

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Some of the special equipment one will find in the RS Q3 include sports seats with Fine Nappa leather with diamond quilting, MMI infotainment with a retractable screen, special speedo needles, a perforated multifunction sports steering wheel with shifting paddles behind it, brushed aluminium-covered foot pedals, RS badges and carbon fibre inlays.

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