Audi Sport has unwrapped its new RS Q3, with the high-performance compact crossover offered in both a conventional body style and as a Sportback.

Under the bonnet, you’ll find the Ingolstadt-based firm’s familiar turbocharged 2,5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, feeding 294 kW and 480 N.m to all four wheels via a seven-speed S tronic transmission.

Peak twisting force is available from as low as 1 950 r/min all the way through to 5 850 r/min, with the resulting sprint from standstill to 100 km/h taking a claimed 4,5 seconds, regardless of body style. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h although ticking the right box will see it raised to 280 km/h.

A dual-branch RS exhaust system ships standard and offers what Audi describes as a “characteristic sound”, while an RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trim will also be offered. Two new driving settings – RS1 mode and RS2 mode – have also been added to the mix.

The RS sport suspension lowers the body by 10 mm when compared with the standard Q3 and Q3 Sportback, while the optional RS sport suspension plus gains dynamic chassis control. A set of 20-inch alloy wheels ships standard (with 21-inch items optionally available), while Audi has also included a new RS steel braking system works with discs measuring 375 mm up front and 310 mm at the rear (ceramic brakes will be offered, too).

Inside the RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback, you’ll find sport seats in black leather/Alcantara with RS embossing. Audi will furthermore offer two RS design packages (in red or blue), with highlights on the steering wheel rim, belt straps, floor mats and gear lever. The flat-bottomed RS sport leather steering wheel includes newly designed shift paddles.

UPDATE: Audi South Africa says it plans to launch both models locally, likely towards the end of 2020...