Audi RS Q3 – Fun, Fleeting and Flippin’ expensive
Audi RS Q3 – Fun, Fleeting and Flippin’ expensive.
Some say we’re part of a lucky club of people who get to drive the most beautiful machines in the world, but there’s a job to this. Make no mistake – there is work involved. Right now as I type this….I am working. I am not driving.
However – I did have the luck of getting my hands on the Audi RS Q3 and in this particular case, yes. I just didn’t want to let it go. I made any excuse under the sun to just keep on driving this compact SUV pocket-rocket. Fellow motorists gasped at every robot and initially I wondered why? Was it the sheer speed of launching the RS Q3 from each light? Was it the glare of the intense Samoa Orange body colour? Or the aluminium touches on the wing mirrors and roofline? I don’t know. From my quick poll among friends and colleagues, most people did not like the colour but what do they know? I love it! And as for the matt aluminium design package and 20” darkened 5-spoke wheels – Audi got the balance right: Sporty but not overtly aggressive.
The biggest talking point(among said friends and colleagues) was the engine. The Audi RS Q3’s 228kW 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder motor is the same unit that powers the Audi TT RS, albeit in slightly detuned fashion. The punch is incredible. The Quattro system throws all 420Nm of torque onto the tarmac with ease. The power kicks in from 1500 rpm and keeps going to 5200rpm where it peaks and continues until 7000rpm. It takes this compact SUV 5.2 seconds from 0 – 100km/h. You can misbehave very quickly with the RS once you realize that you can take on the likes of most sports cars and other powerful SUV’s…or so I’ve heard. The performance figures are certainly in the territory of cars like the Porsche Cayenne GTS and BMW X5M. The only one that might give you a good run is the Range Rover Sport…on a good day. It is certainly in the territory of the recently launched Porsche Macan that @avonmiddleton tested not too long ago. On paper the Porsche Macan Turbo seems like it would outrun the Audi, but paper is cheap and numbers are numbers..And Avon can’t drive. Sorry, I digress.
Bringing the RS Q3 to a grinding halt are 18″ disc’s that have got a wave design which helps reduce weight and keeps the dirt off the disc if you take it into the mud.
The Audi RS Q3 rides 25mm lower and weighs less than other ‘normal’ Q3s. The engineers even fiddled with the placement of the battery to improve weight distribution. All of these improvements give the Audi incredible handling for what is still an SUV. Point the RS Q3 at any corner and glide through it with confidence. The great thing is you have the choice of going over the corner if you want. Body roll is minimal during corning no matter how hard you push and of course, the embossed RS Q3 seats help keep you stable with near-perfect support.
As expected with Audi the cabin is clean, crisp and clutter-free. However in the RS Q3 I was expecting something that really made it stand out from the regular Q3; something with more ‘razzle dazzle’. The chunky square-bottomed steering wheel, dimples on the gear knob, embossed seats and some detailing by the clocks were the only special items. I am not sure what else I was expecting but the exterior ‘GO’ didn’t quite match the interior ‘show’.
So if you want a compact SUV that packs a punch for fun and brings out the kid in you once you have completed the school run, then this would be an option for you. Parting with R 741 000 for the base model may be a difficult one but there are two other options that may rival the offering from Audi: Porsche Macan S or Turbo – but these are both more expensive. The three-pointeds-star’s GLA 45 AMG due to be released in South Africa before the end of 2014. It is also likely to be more expensive.