For those keeping track, the presence of quattro GmBh boss Stefan Reil at the Zurich launch of the Audi Q3 last week was a bit of a puzzler. The German executive was quoted in a story about the production determination of the quattro Concept for an article on Edmunds Inside Line, but also very interesting is why Audi's high performance boss would be at the launch of a 4-cylinder crossover.
So why was he there? Though we didn't attend ourselves, we're guessing it was as chaperone to this very production-looking Q3 2.5 TFSI pre-production prototype. Essentially, it's a Sepang Blue painted Q3 S-line with the same 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine and drivetrain as the TT RS and RS 3.
Seems this Q3 2.5 TFSI (badged simply TFSI, same as the 2.0T) sports 300 hp (down some from TT RS and RS 3 spec) is bound for production. Expect it in about a year says Car & Driver's Jens Meiners who attended the event.
quattro GmbH isn't new to SUVs or crossovers. The Q7 V12 TDI is a product of the skunkworks in Neckarsulm more commonly credited with production of the R8 and Audi's RS cars.
Reil confirmed no Q3 would wear an RS badge though and this is attributed to the higher center of gravity... likely how that may hurt handling and thus not render the vehicle "RS" badge appropriate. Still, if it's built like this one when it goes into production, the Q3 2.5 TFSI will be a real sleeper, a wolf in sheep's clothing. The Q7 V12 TDI had a bespoke fascia and badging all over the place. Other than the Audi Exclusive paint, this little utelet is not outwardly different from the Q3 2.0 TFSI S-line.
Read more about it at Car & Driver, Inside Line and see more photos in our photo gallery... all linked below.