THERE’S a bit of a festival happening at Audi, with new SUV models breaking cover all over the place, including the new 2020 RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback, itself a completely new model and potential hot hatch killer, and the updated 2019 Q5 and SQ5.
In the case of the Q3 models, the two sports compacts offer outstanding performance, athletic design, sharp looks and a bucket of performance. The gloss black grille with three dimensional honeycomb and larger RS side air inlets deliver striking looks.
So too, the boomerang shaped blades in the bumper are designed exclusively for the RS Q3 and the RS genes are also apparent in the flat slits above the single frame radiator grille.
With its downward sloping coupe like roof line, the RS Q3 Sportback stands a little smaller than the RS Q3 but not by much. The rising shoulder line on the Sportback is set farther down than on the sister model, lowering the body’s optical centre of gravity.
As such, the body appears even more muscular and the wheels larger. Audi high performance sports cars underscore their performance aspiration with pronounced muscles over the wheel arches.
The rear design also appears very powerful, with the low rear window and the roof edge spoiler in gloss black, meaning the RS Q3 Sportback appears even wider than its sister model.
The low-slung roof line culminates in strong, flat sloping D-pillars. The RS specific long roof edge spoiler in the RS Q3 emphasises the pronounced forward thrust of the high performance SUV and ensures improved down force.
The new RS Q3 comes with a dual branch RS exhaust system for the first time, with large oval tailpipes on both sides and chrome coloured trims. This exhaust system sits in an RS-specific bumper with rear diffuser and horizontal blades in gloss black.
The rear diffuser and blades are also available in matte aluminium as an option, while both versions of the high performance compact SUV come with matrix LED headlights with dynamic indicators. RS specific darkened trims are available as an option.
The performance figures are up for 2020 too, with a 17 per cent increase in power in the 2.5-litre 5-cylinder TFSI engine, offering 294kW of power and 480Nm of torque, with quattro all-wheel drive.
The RS Q3 and RS Q3 Sportback runs 0-100km/h in just 4.5 seconds, with top speed regulated to 250km/h or an optional 280km/h. Both models are expected to arrive in Australia in the second quarter of 2020. Pricing will be released closer to launch.
For us locals who love a good mid-sized SUV, Audi’s premium Q5 and SQ5 models have had some love, influenced by actual vehicle owners, who were given the chance to help shape the face-lifted variants.
Q5 design models now include a new 19-inch alloy wheel in a dynamic two tone design, as well as the MMI Navigation Plus package, active lane assist, and high beam assist as standard.
The 40 TDI and 45 TFSI sport models now boast a panoramic glass sunroof as included equipment, as well as the parking assistance package (with 360-degree camera), auto dimming exterior mirrors, heated front seats and driver’s seat memory function.
Its 50 TDI sport sibling also gains the panoramic glass sunroof, in addition to the striking S line exterior package and sumptuous Milano leather upholstery. The pinnacle of the range, the dynamic SQ5 TFSI, now boasts a host of additional value.
This includes metallic paint, the glass panoramic sunroof, Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system, a head up display, extended upholstery package and variable front seat head restraints with fore-aft adjustment.
All Audi Q5 and SQ5 models include Audi phone box light wireless smartphone charging, as well as two USB charging ports for rear seat passengers. The new Q5 and SQ5 range is in showrooms now.
Pricing starts from $65,900 through to $99,900. All prices are plus on-roads.