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The Audi RSQ3 has been revealed ahead of the performance Q model’s debut at next month’s Geneva motor show.

Audi’s first-ever SUV-based RS model is powered by a 228kW/420Nm 2.5-litre direct-injection turbocharged five-cylinder TFSI engine – down slightly on the 265kW found under the bonnet of the RS Q3 concept that debuted at the 2012 Beijing motor show.

Audi Australia has confirmed the new RSQ3 will arrive in local showrooms during the first quarter of 2014, and while it is yet to finalise pricing, promises the super sporty compact SUV will come in at under $100,000.

Delivering a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.5 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h, the five-cylinder unit – also used to power the TT RS and RS3 Sportback – is teamed to a start-stop system for the first time to help achieve an average fuel consumption figure of 8.8 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 206 grams per kilometre.

A seven-speed ‘S-tronic’ dual-clutch automatic transmission with steering wheel-mounted paddles transfers drive to all four wheels and works with both a launch control function and the Audi drive select system that allows drivers to chose between an auto, comfort and dynamic driving mode. Massive ventilated and cross-drilled front brakes measuring 365mm in diameter also feature, clamped by black eight-piston ‘RS’ callipers.

The Audi RSQ3 is 25mm longer and 285kg heavier than the standard Audi Q3 (4410mm and 1730kg respectively). The boot offers 356 liters of cargo space, which expands to 1261L with the rear seats folded down.

The RSQ3 combines an aggressive exterior highlighted by a unique front bumper with large side air intakes, a generous amount of honeycomb mesh and a brushed aluminium grille frame that matches the roof rails and the signature side mirrors that designate an Audi high-performance model.

Below the main grille is a smaller aluminium-framed lower grille stamped with ‘quattro’ in a touch similar to that seen on the new Audi RS6, while side skirts, a rear spoiler and rear diffuser, prominent wheel arches, 25mm-lower ride height and 19-inch alloy wheels complete the external treatments.

Black Alcantara and leather RSQ3-embossed sports seats, a flat-bottomed multi-function steering wheel, piano black inserts, grey-stitching highlights, and aluminium look pedals and trim details adorn the high quality interior. Aluminium and carbon inserts are also available, as are diamond-quilted leather seats and 20-inch alloy wheels.

A ten-speaker Audi sound system, xenon plus headlights, LED tail-lights, park assist and hill hold assist are all standard, as is electronic stability control that also features its own Sport mode setting.

Once officially launched, the Audi RSQ3 will join the existing RS range alongside the TT RS, RS3, the recently released RS4, and the RS5, RS6 and RS7 Sportback.

The 2013 Geneva motor show kicks off on March 5.




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