Audi has taken then sheets off it’s new RS3 Sportback. The little Audi has been popular for a few years now as a zippy, cheaper option compared to the bigger V8 RS4 or RS5. The previous models have always packed a punch, pumping 270kW out of the little 2.5L Turbo-five.
But now, they’ve taken it to eleven… or more accurately, 294kW. The mad scientists in the bowels of the Neckarsulm factory have lightened the vehicle and turned up the boost on the tiny turbo.
The 5-cylinder TFSi engine will rip the skin off your knuckles as it rockets from 0-100km/h in just 4.1 seconds – 0.2 faster than the previous model. This is thanks in part due to the power upgrades, but also the diet the engineers put it on. The bulk of the 26kg deficit has come from replacing the traditional crankcase with an all new aluminium one.
The 480Nm of torque will get you anywhere quickly, yet the RS3 will only use 8.3L/100km… says Audi…
They have lowered the car by 25mm, widened the track by 20mm and given it bigger arches, bigger brakes and bigger wheels.
Inside, the cabin is still very Audi, but they have thrown in a few easter eggs for the rev heads among us. A Lap Timer and Boost Pressure Gauge are among the new toys inside. A special RS screen shifts the tacho to the of the completely digital dash, displaying on either side the readings for torque, g forces and tire pressure.
When the transmission is operating in manual mode, a scale with a color background prompts the driver to use the steering wheel paddle or selector lever to upshift when approaching maximum rpm.
Other highlights include the Audi phone box, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 705 watts of power and a load driver assistance systems. In slow-moving traffic up to 65 km/h, the traffic jam assist will help maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front and can briefly take over the steering.
Also new in the Audi RS 3 Sportback are the emergency assist, which automatically stops the car if required, as well as rear cross traffic assist.
The car will be officially unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and will go on sale locally in the third quarter of 2017. Full pricing and specs will be released closer to the launch.