Audi has given the RS treatment to its smallest SUV, creating the ultimate junior WAG rocket. It's fast and that.

It's the first time the RS badge has been applied to an SUV, in fact - though it comes some time after BMW's M Division broke this particular taboo by making the X5 M and X6 M. And, of course, AMG has been at it for ages, with its versions of the GL-Class and G-Wagen.

In a brilliant fit of corporate management speak, Audi is calling the RS Q3 a "conceptual interpretation", which uses two long words where "concept" will do.


Nonetheless, as with all these things, the very existence of the RS Q3 means Audi is up to something; if we all gush over it and tell Audi it's mint, it'll probably get made.

There's a difference, of course, between a load of people saying something's nice and actually putting their money where their mouths are. An RS Q3 will cost no less than £40,000.

Due to be unveiled properly at the Beijing Motor Show next week, the RS Q3 uses a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine with 355bhp. It's the same engine found in the RS3 and TTRS, but with 20bhp more, and it fed to all four wheels through Audi's S tronic dual clutch gearbox.


It means the Q3 races to 62mph in 5.2 seconds, and on to 164mph. As compared to the regular Q3, the ride height is reduced by 25mm and it has a body kit that includes a rear diffuser with integrated dual tailpipes, and a small spoiler at the top of the rear screen.

The front bumper is reshaped to include bigger air intakes, and the headlamps are tinted.

The interior is arguably more striking than the exterior, featuring dazzling blue trim in the seats, dashboard and door cards. The flat bottomed steering wheel has a section made from lacquered carbon fibre weave, dyed blue, and that sportiest of materials, Alcantara, features throughout.