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OK, we'll come clean. Audi insists this prototype isn't an RS, merely a Q3 2.5T. But it does have the five-cylinder engine from the TT RS and RS3 in only slightly detuned form, still punching out around 300hp. Sounds like an RS to us.</font>Alongside the final development of the excellent Q3 production cars, Audi has been working on a hot version for 2012. The team behind it reckoned it would be fun to bring a couple of the prototypes down to the Zurich launch of the Q3, and MSN Cars quickly got behind the wheel.</font>So how does it go? It's quick, very quick for a crossover, with Audi's sophisticated quattro chassis really coming into its own to deal with the 60% power boost over the next most powerful Q3.</font>There's a chunky steering wheel and some superb sports seats that embrace you as the Q3 settles into corners at high speed. And there are no compromises over the regular Q3. The 2.5T remains a roomy, practical family car – apart from the increased fuel bills.</font>There's still calibration work to be done on this Q3 ‘RS', notably to the transmission. Audi's S tronic double clutch system – automatic or manual paddle shift, you choose – has the usual Sport and Drive modes.</font>Stick it in Sport (****, why wouldn't you with an engine like this) and there's a cacophonous roar from the engine. The gears drop down two or three ratios when you gun the accelerator, though the rate of progress doesn't seem to match the aural excitement.</font>It's this aspect that needs some additional work. The problem's largely solved by sticking to the regular Drive mode. With less enthusiasm to instantly select lower gears, the Q3 utilises the enormous torque of the five-cylinder engine to rush forward without the drama.</font>This 2.5T Audi Q3 is a car to anticipate with relish. RS badge or not.</font>http://cars.uk.msn.com/news/audi-q3-rs-%E2%80%93-exclusive-first-drive</font>
 
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