With the next-generation Q3 already revealed, a hot RS version was a forgone conclusion. While photos of prototypes testing in Europe have emerged earlier, these were thought to have been SQ3 variants. However, the photos of the development car we have received this week show the oval-shaped exhaust pipes, which confirm this tester to be the hottest RS Q3 model.

The front bumper, although camouflaged, shows larger air intakes, while the suspension appears lower. The singleframe radiator grille also seems to be different from the regular Q3’s and more in line with the one seen in the current R8. Behind that grille should be the 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine, which produces 400 horsepower in the RS 3. If the output figures are the same, the new RS Q3 should offer considerably more power and torque than the current model, which has around 340 horsepower.

Since the new Q3 is only due to hit showrooms early next year, we don’t expect the RS Q3 to be out any time before end of 2019 or early 2020. Watch this space for more information and photos as the development progresses.