Described by the German marque as "systematically dynamic."
Audi has had another crack at a performance version of the Q3.
This time it's for the Auto China motor show in Beijing.
Following on from its Q3 Vail SUV that was endowed with the same engine (with a bit less pep) for the Detroit motor show earlier this year, the Audi stand in the Chinese capital will feature the next step - an RS Q3 concept.
Described by the German marque as "systematically dynamic," the blue RS concept sits 25mm lower and uses the same powerplant (donated by the TT RS), a 2.5-litre turbocharged direct-injection five-cylinder producing 265kW of power.
Drive can be directed to all four 20in wheels (with 30-profile tyres) via a seven-speed transmission when traction demands as much, but most of the time it's only the front wheels doing the work . Performance claims are a little quicker than the Vail version - a 5.2 second sprint to 100km/h and a top speed of 265km/h.
Audi says it is exploring "the potential of the Q3 model series in a new way." The snout has been enlightened with brushed and polished aluminium trim, as well as new 3D black honeycomb grille inserts.
Tinted headlights (with darkened chrome and carbon fibre-reinforced polymer (CFRP) bits within), sit above a redesigned front bumper, with gaping air intakes and a deep front splitter below.
The black-and-blue theme continues along the flanks (with side skirts, mirrors and wheelarch flares in black CFRP) and at the rear, with a body-coloured (Ordos Blue) roof-lip spoiler and a black under-bumper diffuser. We'll have to take Audi's word for it but within the cabin, the RS Q3 concept, there's a glass sunroof to flood light on the predominantly-black cabin, with dark blue alcantara adorning the seats and door trims.
The steering wheel is trimmed with black velvet leather and has CFRP control stalks. The engine bay is dominated by the five-cylinder engine (with a red valve cover) and a carbon trim panel, with an aluminium-covered sports air filter.
Australian showrooms have only had examples of the Q3 (which is priced from $45,000 to $56,000) on the floor for a matter of weeks but the Vail and RS concept cars point to a future with S and RS variants of the SUV. Audi Australia's Anna Burgdorf says the RS Q3 Concept has not been confirmed for production.
"At this stage it is only a concept and not confirmed for production but shows the potential for the car. "If it is ever confirmed production we'd be keen to get something like it here," she says.