First SUV in its lineup ever to receive the automaker's full high-performance treatment, the 2014 Audi RS Q3 makes its first public appearance in Geneva next month. Although there are currently no plans to bring this hot hauler to America when the standard Q3 goes on sale here next year, Audi has not completely ruled out the possibility that we may see it at some point.
Stepping the baseline Q3 up to RS status starts with the installation of the 306-horsepower/2.5-liter TFSI turbocharged inline-5 engine also used in the TT RS and RS3 Sportback in place of the standard 168-horse/2.0-liter TFSI four. Cranking out a stout 310 lb-ft of torque from 1,500-5,200 rpm and exclusively matched with a 7-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission that ships power to all four wheels via Audi's famed Quattro system, the engine moves the RS Q3 from 0-62 mph in 5.5 seconds and will take it to an electronically limited top end of 155 mph.
This ultra-hot Audi Q3 also boasts an RS-specific sport suspension that drops ride height by a full inch, specially programmed electronic stability control, reprogrammed electromechanical power steering and upsized but lighter-weight 8-piston ABS disc brakes plus the Audi Drive Select system that offers drivers the choice of auto/comfort/dynamic modes for steering effort/throttle/transmission responses.
Like its RS kin, this newest member of Audi's elite go-faster family boasts distinctive cosmetic touches highlighted by unique fascia treatments, a high-gloss black honeycomb front grille, custom rear diffuser and large elliptical tailpipes plus a roof spoiler, matte-aluminum roof rails and other dedicated trim elements. Inside, the RS treatment brings custom grey-faced gauges and displays, bright aluminum pedals and Piano Black accent trim that can be swapped for aluminum or carbon fiber alternatives should the owner desire.
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