Car news

19 April 2012

Welcome to the Audi RS Q3 concept

Yet another rapid SUV emerges in time for the Beijing Motor Show
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We’re big fans of the Audi RS cars here at TopGear, but this one, the new Q3 RS concept? We have a few questions... The TTRS aside — from where this red hot Q3 takes its old-school blown five-pot — RS cars have always had a whiff of the Group B Quattros to them. It’s their shtick; M-cars have that DTM vibe, AMG’s have that racing-in-the-street muscle-car thing going on, but RS cars have always made our minds drift to Walter Rohrl or Stig Blomqvist. And occasionally Michelle Mouton, if we’re in the mood.

But an RS Q3? It’s still officially a 'concept’, and makes its world debut this week at the Beijing Motor Show that is about to dominate these channels. It is a Q3 with the 2.5-litre Direct Injection in-line five from the TTRS Plus and, albeit with a little less oomph, the RS3 Sportback. Neither of them our absolute favourite RS cars. 360bhp means 100kph in 5.2secs, with all the trick diffs doing their thing via Quattro four wheel drive, and a top speed a smidge over 263kph.

It also looks pretty trick, running an inch lower on its 20 inch rims and all the usual RS bits and bobs, but is a Q3 really the right car for the RS treatment? Let us know your thoughts below. It does, however, make us wonder whether red-hot SUVs are going to be the thing of the next few years.

Think about it. VW group has already said its Porsche Macan SUV, little brother to the Cayenne and based on the next-gen Audi Q5, will come with an optional 370bhp 3.0-litre V6 when it arrives next year. Meanwhile the Cayenne itself, grand-daddio of crazy-fast SUVs, is to get a ‘GTS’ model with 420bhp and a bag-load of chassis tweaks, electronic and otherwise, to add some finesses to the 500bhp Turbo’s grunt.

And there’s more. Don’t forget that Bentley. Yeah it was BIG, but it was also fast. And now there are also strong rumours that Lamborghini is on the verge of making public its plans to join the super-SUV league...

And with Jaguar saying its SUV won’t be a Range Rover rival, but more likely something like the Macan and the other VW fast-x-fours, we reckon this is a proper trend and so will need a name. Super Sports Utility Vehicles anyone? What shall we call them? SSUVs? Any better ideas?

Tags: audi, q3, beijing



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