Audi's newest forbidden fruit is the 367hp RS Q3 performance

Audi will travel to the Geneva Auto Show that will open its doors next month to introduce a hot-rodded crossover called RS Q3 performance. As its name implies, the company’s newest RS-badged model is positioned at the very top of the Q3 lineup.

At the heart of the RS Q3 performance is a turbocharged five-cylinder engine that has been massaged by Audi’s go-fast Quattro division to produce 367 horsepower — 27 more than the stock RS Q3 — and a generous 343 pound-feet of torque over a broad range that stretches from 1,625 to 5,550 rpm. The crossover consequently sprints from zero to 62 mph in 4.4 seconds, meaning it’s about as fast as a Porsche 911 Targa 4, and it goes on to a top speed of 167 mph. Surprisingly, the RS Q3 performance delivers over 27 mpg in a mixed European cycle when it’s driven with a light right foot.

The RS Q3 performance rides lower than the model it’s based on because its suspension system has been re-tuned. It also gains a more muscular front fascia with titanium-look trim, gloss black inserts in the grille, and bigger air vents. The rear fascia receives a wider air diffuser, while dark gray 20-inch alloy wheels wrap up the track-inspired look.

Audi has spruced up the cabin by adding a specific instrument cluster with gray faces, white dials, and red needles, as well as black leather upholstery with dark blue contrast stitching on the seats and on the three-spoke, flat-bottomed steering wheel. Carbon fiber trim on the door panels, on the center console, and on the dashboard adds an additional dash of sportiness to the cockpit.

The 2016 Audi RS Q3 performance is on sale now in Germany where it carries a base price of €61,000, a figure that converts to approximately $68,200. Want one? You’re out of luck if you live in the United States, because it doesn’t sound like Audi’s newest pocket rocket will embark on a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean anytime soon.

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