The 2.5 TFSI quattro engine producing 294kW of power and 480Nm of torque received the globally renowned “International Engine of the Year” award last year. The RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback both sprint from 0 - 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds. The power from the five-cylinder engine flows via a seven speed S tronic to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive, allowing the car maximum manoeuvrability in all conditions throughout New Zealand. At less than 50cms in length, engine is 26kg lighter than the previous model with a crankcase made of aluminium, saving 18kg and allowing a 17% increase in power with maximum torque between 1,950 and 5,850 rpm.

“Audi New Zealand General Manager, Dean Sheed, says it’s great to be able to offer further depth across the Q3 range. “The Q3 has proved to be an extremely popular vehicle in our SUV portfolio, so we’re pleased to be able to offer both the RS and RS Sportback in this segment. The RS Q3 is already a proven performer, now joined with the Sportback in an all-new coupe design. Both with appeal to customers who appreciate the sporty, design aesthetic. There is the option to personalise these vehicles also, with a range of different design packages, interior and exterior options. We’re looking forward to our customers being able to view and test drive these new vehicles and unleashing their dynamic performance.”

Thanks to its independent design language, the re-energised Audi RS Q3 and the completely new design of a Sportback in this model emphasis its performance credentials. The RS bumper combined with the gloss black Singleframe gives the front end a dynamic appearance. The black grill is in gloss, with a three-dimensional honeycomb structure inset directly into the RS bumper with its large side inlets. The striking boomerang-shaped blades in the bumper are designed exclusively for the RS Q3. In contrast, the RS Q3 Sportback has a downward sloping coupe-like roof line, lowering the body’s optical centre of gravity, making the vehicle appear more muscular and the wheels larger.

The rear design also appears very powerful. With the low rear window and roof edge spoiler in gloss black, the RS Q3 Sportback appears even wider than its sister model. The low-slung roof line culminates is strong, flat sloping D-pillars. n a first exclusive, the new generation of RS Q3 comes with a dual-brand RS exhaust system with large oval tailpipes on both sides of chrome coloured trims. This exhaust system sits in an RS specific bumper with rear diffuser and horizontal blades in gloss black. LED headlights also come as standard, with Matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators and RS-specific darkened trims available as an option. The rear lights also feature LED technology.

The standard RS sport suspension is 10 millimetres lower than the Q3 and Q3 Sportback, and this matched with the RS-tuned progressive steering creates close contact with the road, even on fast bends. Again, perfect for New Zealand conditions. The suspension provides optimum performance – low for hard bumps; high to brace the body during fast cornering or when braking and precise stability and agile handling matched with great comfort.

The athletic design of the exterior is echoed in the car’s interior, conveying a generous sense of space, with the entire cockpit designed with the driver in mind. Both models are designed as fully fledged five-seater models. Special RS displays in the Audi virtual cockpit also provide information on tyre pressure, torque, power output, lap times, g-forces and acceleration measurements.

For the first time in the Q3 family, fine Nappa leather with RS specific honeycomb pattern and integrated head restraints are available. There are two design packages available in New Zealand with a range of options, and for the first time the interior can be finished entirely in black.

Entry lighting with Audi Sport projection in the doors welcomes the driver and front passenger. The RS sport leather steering wheel, flattened at the bottom, including newly designed soft paddles, comes with multifunction buttons that allow the driver to control the two optional RS modes in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system.

Both models come with Audi Cover as standard, which includes a 5 year /150,000kms warranty, Audi Roadside Assist and a three-year Audi Motoring Plan. The RS Q3 is priced from $111,900 plus on road costs and the RS Q3 Sportback from $114,900 plus on road costs. There are also a variety of optional extras, allowing you to customise the vehicle.

“These models are now to test drive in Audi Dealerships nationwide. We can’t wait for Audi RS fans to experience the exceptional performance of our compact SUV, and to see the brand-new RS Q3 Sportback,” concluded Sheed.