New 395bhp Audi RS3 Sportback: prices and specs revealed
Audi hyper hot hatch returns with more power, more torque and a 174mph top speed on request
Based on the newly facelifted A3 hatchback, the RS3 Sportback gains additional power over its predecessor to keep it firmly at the very sharpest end of the hot hatch market, and also boasts new styling tweaks.
With first deliveries penned for September, the RS3 Sportback is on sale now, priced from £44,300. It means that Audi’s flagship hot hatch commands a premium of nearly £2,500 over its closest rival – the Mercedes-AMG A 45.
It's pricier, but it's also more powerful. 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 means that it trumps its Mercedes rival 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.
Power is sent to the wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox driving a quattro all-wheel-drive system with variable torque distribution.
Relative to the standard A3 hatchback, the RS3 sits 25mm lower and boasts a wider track – 20mm wider at the front axle. 19-inch alloy wheels are home to brake discs that are 310mm in diameter front and rear.
The RS3 is marked out by a large black honeycomb grille at the front, complemented by a more aggressive looking front apron with larger vents. A small roof spoiler and diffuser are round at the rear, with two large oval shaped exhaust exits poking out of the rear bumper.
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. The Virtual Cockpit system is fitted as standard.
Is the Audi RS3 your favourite super hatch, or does something else take your fancy? Let us know in the comments below!