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2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback Is a Small but Aggressive SUV

2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback from Audi Sport began the compact performance SUV trend back in 2013, and now we'll talk about the latest and most powerful version, and that is the new RS Q3 Sportback.

2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback headlight-grills-air-intake
2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback front exterior

In 2013 the idea of a compact performance SUV was one that didn't exist and then the RS Q3 concept by Audi Quattro as the Audi Sport was known then. So, this was the first SUV where the Audi Sports Division involved at least in concept form until it entered the production stage and looked very similar to the concept version.

Just like the concept, it featured an incredible 2.5 l five-cylinder engine only as seen in the RS3 and the old Group B rally cars.  It was a pretty awesome car as well with an excellent 2.5 l typical Audi Sport engine produces 306 bhp, torque of 420 Nm, and 0-60 in 5.5 s. It looks quite close to the concept, handling more hatchbacks than large SUVs, and that makes it a hit with customers.

Then came a mild visual update a few years later, including the RS Q3 performance, which gives you a bit of horsepower (362 bhp, torque of 465 Nm, and 0-60 in 5.2s) and some visual changes. But one significant slip in this whole generation is on the back of the car because it has a single oval pipe in the design.

Unlike the concept car that shows off two pipes, so this not only hurts car sales but general fame because it ends up being more like diesel than RS6, which is unacceptable for Audi Sport cars that try to make a name for themselves.

Generation 2: The 2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback


The second-generation car is based on the VW MQB platform. It looks very aggressive because there is a ferocious new style applied by Audi Sport in all of its new products so that everything seems much more aggressive.

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Green 2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback emblem grille and bumper

The best part is how the Audi Sport brings the best parts of the last car which is an extraordinary five-cylinder engine into the hood of this car as 2.5 l five-cylinder, 400 bhp, 480 Nm, and 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and this is the same engine that you will see featured in the Audi TT RS and RS3. So it stands out among some pretty brutal cars.

Compared with the previous version, the new Audi engines RS Q3 almost 30 kg lighter thanks to an aluminum crankcase and other changes such as a hollowed crankshaft.

The engine has a unique combustion order to give a truly unique sound.

Unfortunately, this car has a particulate fuel filter, but don't worry because it's not all bad news about sound.

At the drivetrain, you got the S-Tronic 7-speed gearbox and link to a typical Quattro AWD system that sends power to the rear up to 85 percent via the multi-plate clutch.

Also, you got the RS sport suspension, which lowers the car half an inch versus your standard Q3.  If you get the RS Sport Suspension Plus, then you end up with even quicker reacting dampers.

2020 Audi RS Q3 Exterior


The rear end got the twin oval pipes just like you would like into every top RS vehicle, and that only changes the entire look of the car whether you're looking at the standard version or the Sportback.

At the front, you've got an enormous honeycomb grille, which is further inset versus the standard Q3 and completely blacked out in this particular Edition.

Another unique feature is the boomerangs around the massive air intakes. These are unique to the RS Q3 versus the standard car. So you've got a quite typical Audi RS modern aggressive look just like you'd find in the bigger RS4, RS6, etc.

Also, you'll notice the three slats above the main grille, and these are just like the Sport Quattro Group B rally car of the past linking nicely to the Quattro heritage that the RS Q3 should be linking too.

You've also got 21-inch alloy wheels, which makes this car the only compact performance SUV that offers wheels of that size, and it gives this car quite an intimidating stance, particularly on the side.

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2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback green

Unlike cars like the new GLA, you can see you've got body color all around the vehicle. So you haven't got that horrible plastic stuff that a lot of manufacturers use around the arches pretending that the car is going to be used 90% for off-roading.

Many other manufacturers do that at this level of SUV as well. But that's not the case with the RS Q3 and instead looks like a compact version of the RS Q8, which means that this has been designed in the best way possible and not been made to upsell you into getting a better looking higher quality SUV.

In terms of the sport back itself versus the regular version of the car, there's quite a bit different. First of all, the entire design from the actual a-pillar onwards is unique to this car, which is not common when manufacturers turn a typical SUV to a sport back. They usually just do it from the b-pillar onwards, so that's why you get a much more raked roofline.

The roof is 45 mm lower compared to the standard. When you look at the width of the car, it's almost half an inch more full-on its wheel arches versus the standard vehicle. You've got the roof spoiler that sits right at the top alongside the small rear window.

You've got an aggressive lower diffuser with plenty of contrast with the black plastic that glosses black, which is also aluminum in different specs. Overall you get quite the dynamic rear end squinting your eyes looking directly at the rear. You might think that you're looking at something like the RS6, which immediately makes this car, and this is one of the best looking small SUVs in the world at the moment—a great job by Audi on the design.

When you are looking like a more expensive car, it brings you on to another vile group car that reminds you of Lamborghinis Urus.

When you compare the Urus to the RS Q3, you're going to see a lot of similarities. It's such a great boon for the RS Q3 owner because you get so much of that style in the car that costs a quarter of the price, and you still get a beautiful five-cylinder engine.

Audi RS Q3 Interior


You'll love the interior, first of all, it is very traditionally OD. On the outside, it's not like the inside has been particularly under design VS the higher up cars. But, a level higher on just trim materials would have helped this.

We talk about the plastics that are used in the dash versus the much more top quality Alcantara and Nappa leather. That's the one thing that doesn't match up to higher cars. It's a shame because it's a bit of a disparity compared to the outside, where everything is excellent.

However, you get good things like the same displays that you find in the higher up flagships. You'll like the shape and the style of the digital display in the RS Q3.

You've got the fully touch MMI system, again with no knob to control it just like you will see in the absolute latest Audi's.

Yet, some people don't like using touch screens while driving. However, you do get the benefit of Apple Carplay, and Android Auto. The best thing probably is it's wireless. So you don't need to plug in a while like many other manufacturers. It's all done just by the Bluetooth.

Also, you'll notice that part of the center console is all tilted towards the driver by 10 degrees, and that's very much to make it a driver-centric interior. You'll notice that on the stack in the middle. You've got an actual gear lever, a few control switches just behind the gear lever, which include the drive select, and this is a weird place to have it. Still, there's a better button for drive state.

You got traction control and the engine start-stop button with the red RS ring similar to the RS4 and the RS5. Besides, you also get a USB C port and a standard USB, which is nice because sometimes you don't have one or the other.

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2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback interior, steering wheel, and screen display

The steering wheel is nice. It's very slim, which is not the case with most manufacturers these days. It's probably the thinnest that you'll find out of the German indeed. You get a new RS model button, which is a much easier way to configure two modes RS 1 and RS 2 to your unliking.

So if you tap that you'll see the screen in front changes to LDRs styles, which are great, they look a lot more sportive versus just the standard dials. If you go into a D Drive select in the MMI screen, you can customize that in its Drive system, steering, engine sound, and Quattro. However, if you press it again, you got RS 2, so this is a perfect way of changing Drive select versus the standard one.

Another little bit you will like is the door handles. The way they're shaped and how they work is adorable. As far as the Audi Sport side of the interior, you can't miss the Suedes of Alcantara.

You've got periphery to the steering wheel, which is also available in Alcantara, which you would personally prefer. The Audi sports seats with a Nappa leather and the honeycomb structure, and generally, it's unmistakeably Audi RS inside.

The seating position is the great thing about these compact performance SUVs. They're not too high like your usual SUVs, and they're not too low like hatchbacks. So you get an excellent range of the road.

The ambient lighting is excellent. For example, if you have set it to green, at the moment, and you'll notice both on the door of the car and the Quatro cymbal, it's matching the kill army green color of the vehicle itself.

Let's talk once again about the Urus because if you've ever sat in one of those, it looks like you're going to have a chuckle because mostly you've got the same steering wheel in the Urus.

You've got the same driver zone screen, MMI screen, and you've even got Audi sounds in the Urus. The five-cylinder engine sound is perfect.

The Performance Of Audi RS Q3 2020


When you look at Audi RS Q3 on the road, it seems quite reasonable. The reason for that is it's not an under-designed car.  However, some companies make cars that look worse. So you are directed into buying the more expensive and the vehicles that are higher up the range.

So many car examples specifically in the entry-level performers SUV market where they look ugly and the ones above them suddenly look fantastic. But, Audi has not done that with this RS Q3!

The Audi RS Q3 doesn't look like it when you see it, but this is quite a fast car and most of the vehicles in the same model that you often drive just feel underpowered.

You will love the engine and the excellent sound. But of course, this is very efficient, it has very high power, the size of the vehicle you want, unlike most four-cylinder engines.

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2020 Audi RS Q3 Sportback engine

Engine sound does not bang near the original RS Q3. That is because of particulate filters and others. But, this is one of the best modern cars you've ever driven, and this is what you want from a Quattro, right?

A good dual-clutch gearbox gives you gears when you want it to work in harmony with the engine.

That's very important when you have a great engine.

In general, the body roll in the car is sweet because we think you want it a little bit like this, which is larger than the RS3. Just to tell you what the body is doing gives the driver a bit of feedback rather than being too flat.

We think the Audi RS Q3 fits your expectations into a sporty, small crossover SUV with a beautiful five-cylinder engine, excellent dynamics for its segment cars, and an ideal size.
Ryan Daniel
Ryan Daniel Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast. Since owning his first BMW at a young age, he has loved the automotive world even more.