Ingolstadt, Germany - Audi’s iconic five-cylinder engine has lived to see another generation of RS Q3, and as an added bonus the second-generation performance SUV is also available in the new coupe-inspired Q3 Sportback bodystyle.

In line with the latest RS3 models, the RS Q3’s 2.5-litre turbocharged motor receives a significant upgrade, with maximum power now listed at 294kW, up from the previous model’s 270kW, while its peak torque figure of 480Nm is a 15Nm improvement.

Against the clock, both RS Q3 models are good for a 4.5-second 0-100km/h sprint according to Audi, while the top speed is limited to 250km/h, although customers can opt for a software upgrade that allows 280km/h. And if you want to hear that off-beat five-cylinder growl in all its glory, Audi offers an RS sport exhaust system as an option.

Incidentally, the new engine is 26kg lighter than the one it replaces, thanks largely to an aluminium crankcase, while significant friction reducing measures helped increase its outputs.

The SUV from planet Krypton - take a closer look at the new RS Q3:

A seven-speed S Tronic transmission channels the power to all four wheels through a quattro all-wheel-drive system with wheel-selective torque control. The RS Q3 also comes standard with an RS sports suspension system that lowers it by 10mm, but buyers will have to pay extra for adaptive damping via the RS sports suspension plus option.

The suspension, along with the quattro AWD, gearbox, engine and exhaust characteristics, can all be adjusted via five Audi drive select modes - these being comfort, auto, dynamic, efficiency and individual. Drivers can also save two individual modes as ‘RS1’ and ‘RS2’ - which can then be easily accessed via the ‘RS Mode’ steering wheel button.

The RS Q3 rides on 20-inch alloy wheels as standard, but customers can opt for a whole range of 21-inch wheel designs. Other design highlights include unique RS-specific front and rear bumpers, flared wheel arches, a rear spoiler and dual-branch RS exhaust system.

As is the norm in RS models, sports front seats in Alantara and leather feature as standard, but buyers will have to pay extra for the race-style bucket seats with integrated headrests and honeycomb-style stitching, as per the pictures that you see here.

Instrumentation is fully digital, and here the ‘virtual cockpit plus’ system features a number of RS-specific readouts, including acceleration measurements, lap times, g-forces as well as power and torque figures.

IOL Motoring