Ahead of its debut at the 2016 Geneva auto show, Audi has revealed the RS Q3 Performance, an even more potent variant of the already powerful RS Q3. Powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five, the RS Q3 Performance generates 362 hp and 343 lb-ft of torque, which is up 27 hp and 12 lb-ft more than the base RS Q3. The only transmission available is a seven-speed S Tronic dual-clutch automatic that's been retuned for more aggressive shifting. Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive system is standard on the RS Q3 Performance.
In addition to the added power, the RS Q3 Performance's suspension has been retuned and the car has been lowered by 0.8 inches (20 mm) versus the regular Q3. An optional RS sport suspension with damper control enables the driver to choose between comfort, auto and dynamic settings via the Audi Drive Select system.
Outside, the RS Q3 Performance's exterior gains larger air inlets up front, a honeycomb grille design, titanium look finishes on the side windows and exterior mirror housings, and a revised rear diffuser. A new exterior color called Ascari Blue metallic is also exclusive to the RS models. A set of 20-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels is standard on the RS Q3 Performance, and come painted in a matte titanium finish. The crossover's brake calipers are also painted in either red or black, and come bearing the RS badge.
Inside, the RS Q3 Performance comes with an instrument panel with a gray face, white dials and red needles. Sport seats are also offered in black and blue while the RS performance design package is a no-cost extra. Blue contrast stitching is found on the steering wheel, gear selector, center armrest, and floor mats while the carbon twill interior inlays have blue thread woven into them.
Sales of the RS Q3 Performance will begin in the second quarter of 2016, with Germany being the first country where the car will be available to order. However, it's unlikely that this version of the Q3 will find its way stateside. Then again, the four-ring brand did decide to bring over the RS 7 Performance.