Audi gives China small and fast with the RS Q3 concept

At Auto China 2012 in Beijing next week, Audi presents an RS version of its compact Q3 SUV.

Audi RS Q3 concept
Audi hotted up its smallest SUV for the auto show in Beijing. Audi

Every automaker realizes the importance of China's growing thirst for cars, and the unique requirements of the market. Audi comes to the 2012 Beijing auto show with a concept vehicle that mixes practicality and excitement.

The RS Q3 concept is based on Audi's Q3 compact SUV. Not sold in the U.S., the Q3 seats five and has a little cargo area. It is similar to the BMW X1 that will be coming to the U.S. this year. If BMW is successful with its car, maybe Audi will follow suit.

Audi RS Q3 concept
The RS Q3 combines practical passenger space with a powerful engine. Audi

The Q3 can be had with a variety of engines, the most powerful generating 211 horsepower. The RS Q3 gets 360 horsepower from a 2.5-liter direct injection turbocharged five-cylinder engine, an impressive achievement in power engineering. And it sends that power to all four wheels with its Quattro all-wheel-drive system. That should lead to some exciting performance.

The RS Q3 gets some suspension tuning and cosmetic enhancements as well. It sits almost an inch lower than the standard Q3. Custom wheels and a black honeycomb grille treatment contribute to the performance look. Aerodynamics come in the form of a carbon fiber reinforced polymer front spoiler.

Although only a concept car, it is exciting to see Audi give one of its Q-series SUVs the RS treatment.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.


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