Charlie Austin struck a stoppage-time equaliser as QPR came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Barnsley at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Dominic Frieser had fired the visitors into the lead (14), before Cauley Woodrow doubled the Tykes’ lead with his 50th goal for the club (27).
But after a change of system from boss Mark Warburton, Rangers took the game by the scruff of the neck after the break and set up a grandstand finish when Ilias Chair finished drove in from the left and finished brilliantly (77).
Austin then had the final say – and made up for his earlier missed chances – when he tucked home a skidding cross from Yoann Barbet (90+1) to send the west London side top of the Sky Bet Championship ahead of the remainder of Saturday’s action.
How QPR rallied to keep their unbeaten start intact
It did not take long for Barnsley to assert themselves on a slick surface in west London. Callum Styles and Clarke Oduor proved to be thorns in Rangers’ side early on, with the latter firing a warning shot inches wide after sharp, incisive build-up play.
They soon took the lead after QPR were caught playing out from the back. Liam Kitching collected the ball on the halfway line and pumped it forward to Frieser, who escaped the clutches of Osman Kakay, beat the offside trap and smashed in the opener.
Less than 15 minutes later, it was 2-0 when a corner was recycled after Rs goalkeeper Seny Dieng had batted away the initial danger, with Styles exchanging passes and squaring for Woodrow to slot home his landmark strike.
With no let-up in sight and a real danger of being blown away, a stern-looking Warburton shuffled his pack well before half time,, sacrificing Andre Dozzell and George Thomas for Albert Adomah and Dominic Ball. He then switched to a back four at the break, after which QPR looked refreshed.
Substitute Jimmy Dunne rose to nod a corner just wide of the left-hand upright just before the hour, while Austin sliced wide before he was denied by a spectacular reaction save from Tykes stopper Brad Collins as the hosts searched for a goal to set up a tense finale.
With 13 minutes to play, they found one when Chair ghosted into the area from the left and rifled a thunderous effort into the back of the net and just when it looked as though they might fall to a first defeat of the campaign, Austin slotted home to earn a point at the death.
QPR are back in action at 7.45pm on Tuesday, August 24, when they host Oxford in the second round of the Carabao Cup, while Barnsley return at 3pm on Saturday, August 28, when they welcome Birmingham to Oakwell.