December 6, 2022

Can placing a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine from the Audi RS3 and TT RS remodel the Q3 right into a sizzling hatch shattering crossover? We bought behind the wheel of the Audi RS Q3 to seek out out simply whether or not the crossover/SUV can deal with the standard sizzling hatch.

Regardless of how a lot you moan, efficiency crossovers and SUVs are very a lot a factor. When as soon as the standard sizzling hatch was each working man and lady’s dream, plainly each producer below the solar is racing to convey out the most recent performance-orientated SUV. Once I say each producer, I actually do imply it, even Ferrari is bringing out a quick SUV subsequent yr…

No, we didn’t drive it within the snow. These are simply Audi press pictures. Cool although, proper?

What is that this Audi RS Q3 all about then?

Beneath the bonnet is the two.5-litre, five-cylinder turbocharged engine that powers each the Audi RS3 and the Audi TT RS. On this trim, it produces a wholesome, spherical 400hp, with 354ft lb of torque. That is mated to Audi’s well-known Quattro system and 7-speed S tronic, twin clutch gearbox. Official figures are 0-62mph in 4.5 seconds and a prime pace of 155mph, not unhealthy for one thing that weighs over 1700kg then!

In some ways, the Audi RS Q3 is similar to the Cupra Ateca Abt SUV that we drove not too long ago. They’re each four-wheel drive, each autos and each SUVS. However, the Cupra is lighter than the RS Q3 and in Abt kind it’s simply 50bhp wanting it at 350bhp. The Cupra additionally feels simply as sharp, if not sharper. So what are you getting for the additional £5k over the Abt Cupra Ateca?

Audi RS Q3

I requested myself this query time and again, as a result of dynamically, the Cupra Ateca Abt is forward of the RS Q3. However, it’s once you spend a while contained in the Audi that you just begin to piece collectively the place that cash has gone. In fact, the Audi feels a nicer place to sit down, a extra luxurious tone exudes the cabin, with soft-touch plastics out of the way in which and changed with supplies comparable to leather-based and Alcantara. The digital cockpit is an excellent piece of apparatus from Audi, serving to to simplify the controls but in addition placing the display instantly in entrance of you. From the instrument cluster you possibly can flick between your music, see the satnav map, learn varied different bits of car-specific info and naturally make calls and so forth. However the greatest draw in direction of the Audi RS Q3 is that engine, which not solely sounds terrific, however goes just like the clappers!

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Audi RS Q3

Audi RS Q3 – the drive

Pin the throttle and also you’re thrown again into your seat, once you’re on enhance. Surprisingly, below across the 3krpm mark you get a really laggy response. It takes time for that enhance to wind up and propel you down the street, virtually akin to a 90s Japanese automotive, which is odd for an engine that’s been reworked and retuned to satisfy the most recent EU emissions legal guidelines. Those who have pushed pre and put up facelift RS3s have additionally reported that the latter automotive lacks the urgency the earlier automotive had, and though by no means having pushed the pre-WLTP automotive, I can imagine it. Beforehand, you watched RS automobiles bounce off the lights like a greyhound, however this one takes a second or two to get into its stride.

When you’re into its stride, although, its quick. The S-tronic gearbox is ultra-responsive in its shifts, making quick b-road blasts an absolute doddle. Don’t be fooled by the elevated kerbweight and excessive centre of gravity, that is an impressively agile machine that may negotiate a fast street at a robust charge of knots. The profit to having that increased experience peak is the bottom clearance, that means on a b-road you by no means have to fret about undulations or potholes, the RS Q3 eats it up in its stride.

Audi RS Q3

That Quattro system does induce understeer for those who push it an excessive amount of, however on the entire you’re given very excessive ranges of grip that even essentially the most novice of drivers can hustle over a again street at good tempo. It’s an easy automotive to drive rapidly, enabling you to pin the throttle mid nook and permitting the computer systems to take over and work their magic. It does take away that sense of driving away from it, nonetheless, however that’s to be anticipated in a automotive of this dimension.

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The steering felt somewhat lazy in its lowest setting, however does get up in sports activities mode, as does the exhaust. This automotive was fitted with the non-compulsory RS sports activities exhaust system, which wakes it up a contact and provides in that drama and character that may in any other case have gone unnoticed. Plus it means you really get to listen to that signature 5-pot noise. You additionally get black oval suggestions on the rear which helps set off the seems to be of the automotive. Talking of which, it’s not a foul wanting automotive, notably for an SUV. It’s actually on the extra trendy facet of most SUVs, which was solely highlighted on lengthy journeys the place individuals have been even providing a thumbs up… or was it a center finger? One of many two anyway!

Audi RS Q3

The brakes right here have been carbon ceramics, which labored nicely with such mass to take care of. Over the course of a very good hour hooning, the brakes felt as sturdy as they have been from the get-go. They do take a contact to heat up, and can provide a barely unnerving pedal chunk initially, however as soon as the automotive is warmed up, pedal really feel turns into extra pure and confidence inspiring.

Value sensible, the RS Q3 isn’t low-cost. This explicit automotive with its non-compulsory exhaust, carbon ceramic brakes and varied styling choices got here in at £66,055 on the street, which incorporates first registration payment, supply cost and a street fund licence. If you wish to PCP one, you’ll be over £600 monthly, too. That being mentioned, you’re getting a automotive with bucket a great deal of efficiency, good practicality, and one which arguably has the snazziest inside available on the market.

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Audi RS Q3

Verdict

The Audi RS Q3 is a massively succesful automotive, with its strongest pulls being that beautiful five-cylinder turbocharged engine that may have you ever in search of out the redline pondering you’re Walter Rohrl or Stig Blomqvist. Out of all the efficiency SUVs, the RS Q3 is sort of the one one that you could forgive for being efficiency oriented. In actual phrases, that Audi RS Q3 isn’t a lot greater than the RS3 and delivers comparable efficiency to it, however with a smidge more room inside.

It additionally options that sensible Digital Cockpit, which has elevated Audi’s inside design to a brand new stage and one which conquers throughout the market. However, that every one comes at a value, and if you’d like one nearly as good wanting as this one, you’ll must hover across the £60k mark, which will get you into all method of automobiles.

Would I take one over a sizzling hatch? No. I nonetheless assume the standard sizzling hatch provides extra efficiency, however crucially, extra thrills than that of a efficiency SUV. Would I be completely satisfied if this was my solely automotive? Completely. It could actually actually provide the efficiency, but in addition, has a switchable consolation facet {that a} sizzling hatch might solely dream of.