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Welcome to the Audi RS Q3 concept
We’re big fans of the Audi RS cars here at Top Gear, 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 60mph in 5.2secs, with all the trick diffs doing
their thing via Quattro four wheel drive, and a top speed a smidge over 164mph.
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?