Audi hyper hot hatch returns with more power, more torque, and a 174mph top speed on request.
Following on from the reveal of the new RS3 saloon at last September’s Paris Motor Show, Audi has given the RS treatment to its hatchback equivalent, unveiling the new RS3 Sportback.
Based on the recently facelifted A3 hatchback, the RS3 Sportback gains more power and torque over its predecessor, plus design tweaks in line with its saloon bodied sibling.
Under the bonnet is a reworked 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine, now producing 395bhp and 480Nm of torque. That’s 33bhp extra on tap and the new engine is 26kg lighter than the old one, thanks to weight-saving materials like a new aluminium crank case. That 395bhp power figure also means that it trumps the Mercedes-AMG A 45 for sheer punch, as the new RS3 outguns the hot A-Class by 19bhp.
0-62mph is dispatched in 4.1 seconds, and while top speed is limited to 155mph Audi can up the limiter’s threshold to 174mph on request. In terms of fuel economy Audi claims 34mpg, with exhaust emissions rated at 189g/km CO2.
In the cabin the RS3 gets sports seats finished in black nappa leather plus a flat-bottomed RS badged leather steering wheel as standard. More supportive RS sports seats make the options list, alongside Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument display with a special RS screen setting.
Order books for the RS3 Sportback open in April 2017 with first deliveries set for this August. UK prices have yet to be confirmed, but compared to European prices it should come in at around £46,500. A full debut will take place at the Geneva Motor Show next month.