Next-Generation Audi Q3 Brings Its Performance To The Nurburgring

By:   Fedora Atjeh Fedora Atjeh   |   April 15, 2018
Next-Generation Audi Q3 Brings Its Performance To The Nurburgring
Next-Generation Audi Q3 Brings Its Performance To The Nurburgring

A beefed-up variant of the Audi Q3 has been snapped during tests at the Nurburgring, and it could be the next-generation SQ3 or, alternatively, the range-topping RS Q3.

On first impressions, the relatively tame bodywork of this prototype indicates that it is the new SQ3. Furthermore, the presence of four relatively small tailpipes are more fitting of an ‘S’ model than an all-out RS Q3. As a reminder, the current RS Q3 only has a single, oval-shaped tailpipe.

However, a closer look at the brakes indicate that we could indeed be looking at the RS Q3. Up front, there appears to be carbon ceramic, cross-drilled discs alongside six-piston calipers, a setup a little too extreme for an SQ3. The camouflage prototype was also spied testing alongside an RS3.

If this is indeed the next Audi RS Q3, we have a relatively good idea of the performance it will provide. The current RS Q3 uses the same 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder as the RS3 and pumps out a healthy 335 hp. With some simple tuning, Audi could easily increase that figure to the 350 hp mark, if not higher, edging the SUV closer to the Mercedes-AMG GLA 45 and its 375 hp.

New underpinnings and new looks

Like other spy shots, this latest batch reveals a familiar design language that’s set to be adopted by the entire next-generation Q3 range with aggressive headlights and taillights, dynamic bodywork, muscular arches and a wide grille.

Underpinning the next Audi Q3 will be the marque’s MQB platform. These new underpinnings should improve driveability while also reducing weight by roughly 110 lbs (50 kg).

Apart from the RS Q3 and its 2.5-liter five-cylinder, other variants will be offered with a selection of petrol and diesel engines, including a compact 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder. It is also possible that plug-in hybrid and electric variants could be launched at some point, though there’s no solid info on that.

In any case, production of the new Audi Q3 will commence later this year, with the sportier S and RS versions expected to hit the market in 2019.

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