Audi Q3 Tuning

"Thanks for reading my Q3 tuning guide."

The Q3 is a very capable SUV and a great addition to the Audi portfolio. It offers great performance and handling plus many practicalities that the slightly smaller sized A3 doesn't.

The Audi Q3 is a stylish and sophisticated SUV that exudes luxury and refinement. Its sleek and modern design is sure to turn heads, and its interior is equally impressive with its high-quality materials and comfortable seating.

The Audi Q3 offers a premium driving experience that is both comfortable and engaging. Its well-tuned suspension soaks up bumps and potholes with ease, while its powerful engines provide ample power for both city and highway driving. The Q3 also handles well, making it a pleasure to drive on winding roads.

So what are the best upgrades for your Q3? You can easily tune your Q3 with a tune/remap and make some impressive power gains, but for the ultimate modified Q3 you should do some other engine mods from turbo upgrades, cams and intercooler improvements.

From a tuning point of view it is a great car to work from with some excellent engine options from Audi.

1.4L TFSI i4 (replaced with the later 1.5 TFSi still an EA211 block design), the very powerful 2.0L TFSI i4 (EA888 )and a couple of very refined clean burning diesels namely the 2.0L TDI diesel i4 and the larger 2.5L TFSI I5.

Let's take a look at engine mods and handling improvements for the Q3 in our tuning guide, we have also written some detailed engine specific guides for many Audi engines and are frantically adding more.

Engines in Different Versions: The Audi Q3 has been available with various engines over the years, including:

  1. First Generation (2011-2018):
    • 1.4 TFSI (petrol)
    • 2.0 TFSI (petrol)
    • 2.0 TDI (diesel)
    • 2.5 TFSI (RSQ3)
  2. Second Generation (2018-Present):
    • 1.5 TFSI (petrol)
    • 2.0 TFSI (petrol)
    • 2.0 TDI (diesel)
    • 2.5 TFSI (RSQ3)

Versions and Updates:

First Generation (2011-2018):

  • Initial Release: The first-generation Audi Q3 was introduced in 2011.
  • Facelift (2014): In 2014, a facelifted version was launched with updated styling and improved engines.
  • RSQ3 (2013): The high-performance RSQ3 was introduced in 2013, featuring a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine with around 335 hp.

Second Generation (2018-Present):

  • Redesign: The second-generation Audi Q3 was released in 2018 with a more modern design.
  • RSQ3 (2020): The RSQ3 received an updated 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine with approximately 395 hp.

The only thing holding you back in your Q3 project is time, money and your imagination If you do your planning then you can create an awesome Q3 but don't be fooled there are lots of sports upgrades out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

See our video which covers all the principles of tuning your Audi Q3.

Q3 Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for lots of DIY modders first priority in your Q3 tuning project. The S line suspension is a little harsh and there are many aftermarket suspension options that are superior.

If you set the toe out to around 1.5 degrees on the front, and add slight negative camber then cornering will greatly improve.

Drop the car optimally somewhere in the region of 21mm - 31 mm and fit sports stiffer dampers, bigger drops will need other modifications in most instances.

The standard Q3 suspension setup is actually generally pretty good and well thought out, especially on the sline models.

Kit's we've seen mentioned in our forums, and YouTube channel include suspension kits like AP Coilovers, Eibach Pro Kit (both a 25mm & 30mm drop is available),The ever popular KW Variant 1 (which is great for those wanting a simple drop in preadjusted kit) & KW Variant 3 which offers separate damping adjustment for rebound and compression independently).

A worthy additional mention goes to the ST Suspension Coilover kit which many have put on their Q3 projects so far.

You may get errors with suspension kits where the Q3 expects the electronic damping control. So in these cases something like the Eibach Pro-Tronic is useful to kill those errors from the electronic damper control. This is a module that basically plugs in and lies to the ECU that all is working as it should.

Springs need to be matched to the engine weight & power output.

Our aim in Q3 engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

The Q3 not only looks good, it's fantastic to drive, and this only improves with the right modifications and upgrades!

The best power gains come from larger engine sizes. The more you start with the bigger the return on investment so engine swaps are good value mods for small engined cars.

Q3 Engine Tuning.

Typically these tuning upgrades are usually fitted by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you start.

We have a detailed guide for the following engines

More will be added in due course.

Getting the correct grade of uprated mods for your planned usage of the car is a time and money saver. Stage 3 motor sport parts just don't work well on the road making the car difficult to drive.

Please watch our video which covers the 5 principles of tuning your car. Be sure to keep up with our latest YouTube content and subscribe.

Best Engine Mods for your Q3

    1. Engine Tunes - engine tuning/remapping provides the most advantage in terms of cost savings,  aftermarket ECUs, and piggyback ECUs are all alternatives.
    2. Fast road cams are one of the most significant mechanical changes, but they must be installed by someone who knows what they're doing and they are not always easy to source but you might find a local firm to regrind a stock camshaft.
    3. Intake and Exhaust - Note that on their own these mods will NOT ADD POWER in most cases, but they can help enhance power after other mods by removing the restriction.
    4. Upgrades to turbochargers and superchargers - forced induction is the most efficient approach to increase air supply, allowing you to burn more fuel and make more power. It is one of the most costly upgrades but provides the best gains.
    5. Head work - The goals of porting and flowing the head are to get air flowing into the engine while removing flow restrictions and turbulence

Q3 Tuning Stages

Typical stage 1 mods often include:
Panel air filter, Lighter flywheel, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Engine Tunes/Remapping, Alloy wheels, Sports exhaust.

Typical stage 2 mods often include:
Power/Sport clutch, high flow fuel injector, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam.

Typical stage 3 mods often include:
Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Competition cam, Sports gearbox.

Peak power is all well and good but for a daily driven car you need a long torque band and perhaps extending the rev range.

In this article we shall give your a good starting base to the best mods for your car, but we'd encourage you to spend some time on the site looking into the details of each type of performance part.One of the biggest mechanical tuning upgrades you can do to your NA (naturally aspirated) engine is to fit a fast road camshaft .

It maximises the intake and exhaust durations and increases the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap.

TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a competition cam as this affects the engines idling and general town driving characteristics. You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to pay attention to the fuelling.

Using higher octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from detonation or premature ignition on your Audi project after fitting other sports kits. To get sufficient fuel you may need to uprate the injectors on your engine. If you've uprated your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Q3 Intake Tuning.

Breathing mods are usually next up. Please note that WE DO NOT RECOMMEND INDUCTION KITS, unless you have tuned your car extensively and are finding that the standard air intake has become a restriction.

Induction kits can work well on turbo engines and larger engines (if supplied with a suitable cold air feed or air box), generally though we'd just recommend for most Q3 engines you should just fit a sports panel air filter preferably made from cotton.

Q3 Performance Exhausts

Do not go with the widest exhaust you can find this will slow the exhaust rate - the best exhausts for power gains are usually between 2 to 2.5 inches. It is the shape and material more than the bore size.

The Fox  304 stainless steel system is the only one I've experienced and it sounded good, but was probably not a significant performance increase. At the moment there are not many systems around for the Q3, there are a few shops out there offering custom exhaust work. Please let me know if you find any suitable exhaust upgrades and i'll update this article.

Whilst we are discussing exhausts, the CTS turbo muffler delete has been recommended for faster turbo spool up and provides a claimed 6-7hp power hike.

Getting the head ported and polished will allow you to get more air into each cylinder. This is definitely a job for a professional with a flow bench.

A good fast road performance clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never skimp or think that your standard clutch to cope.

Turbo engines are just asking to be Reprogrammed. You will see impressive power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a tune/remap one of the most cost effective and impressive modifications for your money.

Q3 Alloy wheel upgrades.

Because alloys are less heavy they improve performance and they help to cool the brake disks. The downside to large alloy wheels on your Q3 is that you alter your effective final drive ratio so this will have a negative effect on performance.

Wheel sizes can vary based on trim levels and options, but common sizes for the Audi Q3 are typically 18-inch or 19-inch wheels, with larger options available for certain trims.

Although some people have fitted larger wheels without problems we would stick to a 18 inch rim size as the maximum.

If you would like to know more, or just get some friendly advice on Tuning your car please join us in our car forums where you can discuss Q3 options in more detail with our Q3 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Audi tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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2 Responses to “Q3 Tuning”

  1. Bryan James says:

    I liked your Article. But I did not see my engine listed for my 2013 Audi Q3 . I have 2.0T PETROL ENGINE. Can you advzie if there are and upgrades available ??? for performance

  2. TorqueCars says:

    There are plenty of options around for those, I’ve added a link to our 2.0 TFSi article above and here if you want more info, I will also be updating this article in the next few weeks, it’s on the schedule for a refresh:-

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