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24 Feb 2021

What We Dislike
Doesn't pop and crackle when downshifting
It'll burn a hole in your pocket
While unique, the Kyalami Green isn't for everyone

The Audi RS Q3 Sportback is a high-performance premium crossover that has enough go to match its show.

Kyalami green. That's the name of the colour on the Audi RS Q3 that you see here on this very page. Kyalami incidentally means 'my home' in one of the languages in South Africa and, more relevantly to Audi, it's the name of a circuit that has hosted the South African Grand Prix countless times.

Whatever the story is, the colour is undeniably unique and pleasing to the eyes of many. It almost has all the things going for it as an RS-exclusive colour - the uniqueness, the brightness, the sportiness, and etc.

The 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine pushes out 394bhp and 480Nm of torque
But I do not know how to pronounce Kyalami and, no, the colour is not for me.

What the...?

Thankfully, it's more than just about shades and hues here with the Audi RS Q3 Sportback. This car is such an absolute cracker on the road that it requires you to take it to a racetrack just so you can fully exploit its capabilities. With so much muscle being pumped out from the 2.5-litre five-pot powerplant, it almost feels like the car has plenty left to go even after you've reached the end of the road.

The RS Q3 Sportback will finish the century sprint in just 4.5 seconds
And we're not even talking about supercar territory figures here. Married to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the RS Q3 Sportback is capable of 394bhp and 480Nm of twisting force, which pushes the car to reach its 100km/h envelope in just 4.5 seconds (this is just 0.2 seconds slower than the mightier 543bhp 5.0-litre Jaguar F-PACE SVR).

Regardless of the driving modes you're in, the engine delivers these power and torque so effortlessly and smoothly without losing any of its razor-sharp instincts and purpose even on demanding roads - be it straight, winding, dry or wet. The competent quattro all-wheel drive system helps in this aspect too.

Wait a min...

The RS mode button is located on the steering wheel for your convenience
Admittedly, little difference can be felt between the default Auto mode and Comfort mode, but they're best suited for daily driving. Dynamic mode tends to be a tad more sensitive and aggressive, as it gets the car to jostle and sniff up even the smallest pockmarks on the road, accompanied by an exhaust note that will make your fine hairs stand on end.

That you can now have the option of toggling between two customisable driving modes - boldly dubbed RS1 and RS2 - on the steering wheel makes it a lot easier to swap between daily driving with the family and the occasional 'time attack' instances.

Two RS modes for you to toggle between
Either way, the RS Q3 Sportback is explosively potent while remaining predictably safe. A lot has to do with the precise and direct steering that instils you with the sort of confidence needed to carve corners without any unnecessary deviation or distraction.

Hold on a sec...

Elsewhere, there's a lot to like about the RS Q3 Sportback. The car has an aggressive design that's worthy of the RS badge. Up front, you get large air intakes, gloss black grille and boomerang-shaped blades in the bumper, while the roof edge spoiler and large black twin oval tailpipes complete the overall muscular look of the crossover.

The cabin is driver-centric and certainly premium
It's pretty much Audi fanfare on the inside, too. The Audi virtual cockpit plus does a good job in displaying all the necessary driving information you need, while the sharp and crisp MMI infotainment touchscreen houses the rest of the car's functions - from car's settings and driving modes to air-con fan speed and media tunes.

Everything here looks and feel premium, with a good mixture of Nappa leather and solid plastics filling up the cabin. Space-wise, the car will haul three at the back without any complaints, even if the sloping roofline does sacrifice some headroom over a regular Q3. But where this car falls short, it makes up for it with the generous 530-litre boot space, which will easily satisfy all but the most demanding RS driver.

Ahhh I see...

530 litres of boot space is readily available for you
Although the Audi RS Q3 that we recently tested appear to be more practical in terms of rear space, the Sportback version of it that we have here does stand out with its stylish sloping roofline and, not to mention, the colour - all without compromising on performance, design and luxury.

So if you're the sort of buyer who doesn't have to ferry around an annoyingly tall passenger wherever you go, knows how to enjoy an engine that can match a car's engaging and feisty character and needs the space for the family, I'd say this car is pretty much the answer for you.

Just please consider another colour.
Car Information
Audi RS Q3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI qu S tronic (A)
Rate it


: $414,189

Engine Type


5-cylinder in-line 20-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap





294kW (394 bhp) / 7000 rpm



480 Nm / 5850 rpm



7-speed (A) S tronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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