Audi RS Q3 concept brings 360-hp mini SUV to Beijing: Motoramic Dash

April 18, 2012
Audi RS Q3 concept
Audi RS Q3 concept

Welcome to the Motoramic Dash, a quick read of the top automotive stories of the morning:

Audi's march to surpass BMW and Mercedes-Benz as the world's largest builder of luxury cars continues with this concept for next week's Beijing Auto Show, the RS Q3, a 360-hp hot hatch. It says something about the world's priorities that the fantastic Quattro concept can't be built, but this small SUV with the same engine can.

Audi has committed to bringing the Q3 stateside in 2014, and since most Audi models come with a performance variant, the idea of a hotted-up five-door crossover isn't that surprising. With the turbocharged five-cylinder engine, the RS Q3 could hit 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and a top speed of more than 160 mph -- pure sports car territory. Some concepts show where the auto industry might go; with the RS Q3, Audi's showing us where it's already made up its mind to do.

Other stories this morning:

Volkswagen expected to approve Mexican factory for Audi: That drive for world domination will require some new factories; instead of adding onto or expanding VW's Tennessee plant, Volkswagen officials will put Audi's first North American plant in Mexico. (Bloomberg)

GM lab damage might hit $5 million: One GM employee remains hospitalized following last week's explosion in a battery lab caused by gases from a prototype lithium-ion battery. (Detroit News)

Consumer Reports takes the Subaru BRZ drifting: When even the most stoic of car reviewers can't help but go sideways, you know a model has something special. (Consumer Reports)

Mazda: No new V-6, CX-7 won't be replaced, and the rotary lives: All of these forecasts about future Mazda products come with the tiny disclaimer "if the company can make it." (Car and Driver)

Vauxhall Maloo VXR8 review: This is the Holden El Camino revival that GM considered bringing to the United States before going bankrupt. GM's selling 50 of the tuned VXR8s in Great Britain. Converted sticker price: $82,000 (Autocar)