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The Audi RS Q3 Exists, and It's So Cool

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author photo by Doug DeMuro May 2019

One of my biggest gripes with Audi's automotive lineup is that we just don't get enough fun, exciting and high-performance Audi models in the USA. The Audi RS4, for example, doesn't come here -- and neither does the RS6, and several other fast Audi models. One of the Audi vehicles we're missing out on is the RS Q3.

The RS Q3 is exactly what the name sounds like: a high-performance "RS" version of the Q3 crossover. But while we don't really get any high-performance Audi SUVs here, short of the relatively tame 350-horsepower SQ5, foreign markets get a high-performance RS Q3 with 310 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque -- big numbers in such a small vehicle. Reportedly, a new RS Q3 is coming with 400 hp, which is a really impressive figure.

The reason I mention this is because Audi's performance SUV game is really light here in the USA -- a market that now has "AMG" and "M" versions of basically every luxury SUV those brands sell. More importantly, the Q3 is the right size to create a performance SUV: it's not so big that you can't really turn it into a sporty vehicle, but instead rather small and fun -- enough to feel sporty and exciting, even though it's not a car.

In fact, the RS Q3 would be especially welcome here because this is one market segment where high-performance rivals are especially rare. Although BMW makes an X5M and an X6M with an X3M and X4M on the way, there's been no X1M or X2M yet -- and while Mercedes-Benz has a rival in the AMG GLA45, other brands like Lexus, Volvo, Acura and Infiniti don't have a competitor that would rival the RS Q3 for shoppers who want a fun little luxury SUV.

Indeed, I wish the RS Q3 would come here, and I hope the next generation does -- but for now, we can just dream about the small, fast Audi SUV we can't quite have. Find an Audi for sale

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The Audi RS Q3 Exists, and It's So Cool - Autotrader