Mike Stevens | Apr 18, 2012

Audi has pulled a TT RS-powered jackrabbit out of its hat, revealing the hi-po RS Q3 concept today.

Shoehorning the 2.5 litre five-cylinder turbo engine from the TT RS into the small Q3 SUV, transforms into a production-ready performer.

As it does in the TT RS, the RS Q3's turbo mill delivers 250kW and 450Nm of torque - a huge 95kW and 150Nm more than the top-shelf Q3 2.0 TFSI available in Australia.

Unlike the TT flagship however, the RS Q3 pairs its engine exclusively with Audi's seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission.

But, paired with quattro all-wheel-drive, the concept's 5.2 second sprint to 100km/h ought to please even the most ardent of row-your-own traditionalists.

audi rs q3 concept 10
In the RS Q3, the quattro system directs power almost entirely to the front wheels, driving the rear wheels via an electronically-controlled hydraulic multi-plate clutch only when slip is detected at the back.

On the styling front, Audi has kept the RS Q3 out of the clouds, sticking with a reality-based styling and aero package that could point to a production version in the near future.

The usual RS tweaks are all here, including the mesh grille, larger intakes, skirts and lips, big wheels and dual exhaust tips at the rear.

The theme continues in the cabin, with Audi's flat-bottomed RS tiller, carbon fibre and aluminium highlights, and contrasting colours.

The carbon fibre bits even pick up a unique blue luminescent fibre highlight weaved in, and it can be found on the steering wheel, gear lever frame, paddle shifters, doors and dash.

When will we see it on the road?

The German carmaker hasn't confirmed any plans for a production debut for the RS Q3, but if BMW rolls out an M-powered X1 any time soon, Audi will be waiting.

For now, watch for the RS Q3 to debut at next week's Beijing Auto Show.

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