Audi Club is on location in Nashville this week for the launch of the US market specific Q3 crossover. The new Q3 is a big improvement over the outgoing model, already potent and aggressively kitted in S-line spec with 2.0 TFSI engine and optional 20-inch wheels. That the new Q3 is so markedly improved over its predecessor only heightens anticipation over model variants. To that we have some potentially bad news.
First and foremost is news on the Q3 Sportback. That new body style was shown just this week by Audi AG, though Audi of America representatives here in Nashville confirmed there are no plans for the Q3 Sportback to come to the USA for now.
Next up is the highly-anticipated though not-yet-reveealed RS Q3. In the first-generation, Audi built a 2.5 TFSI-powered RS version of the Q3 for the European market. Test mules of an upcoming next-generation RS Q3 have been seen before, and it’s presumed that car will continue use of Audi’s venerable 2.5 TFSI also used in the TT RS and RS 3 sedan. America never got that first-generation RS Q3, and it appears the second-generation will also hold off on coming to America for now.
Could there be an SQ3? Audi has yet to produce one, but they did launch an SQ2 version of the Q2 last year (pictured above). With this newer and more capable Q3, an SQ3 sounds like a no-brainer. Important to remember though, there’s been no official confirmation of SQ3 or RS Q3 for rest of world as of yet.
On the SQ3 and RS Q3, our sources suggest any SQ3 or RS Q3 faces the same problem as the Q3 Sportback. The small crossover business isn’t yet large enough for Audi to warrant expanding the product line to include Sportback, S or RS variants. Perhaps added volume over the lifecycle of this new and improved Q3 could see them change their minds by the time a facelift comes out in a few years, but for now our sources say there are no plans to bring over RS Q3 or SQ3 should Audi Germany elect to launch those.