And the hottest Audi hatch has finally revealed all its might and taking the charge to the Mercedes-AMG A45 S. Although it doesn’t pack more power than its rival, the main aim was to improve on its dynamics rather than the brawniness. It bears the 2.5 TSFI heart that beats with a 1-2-4-5-3 sequence which returns 394 hp (294 kW) and a maximum torque output of 500 Nm, 20 Nm more than the previous model. The power is shifted through a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and delivered to all four wheels via the Quattro system. As a result, it goes from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds and it has a top speed of 250 km/h. There is an option to go flat out at 280 km/h or even go as high as 290 km/h when you tick the dynamic package option.

The engineers have integrated something they call ‘Torque splitter’ and what that does is increase the drive torque to the outer rear wheel with the higher wheel load in order to reduce understeer, something that has been haunting the RS3 for a long time. This feature is also used to enable the car to drift via the drift mode button but they’d rather call it ‘RS Torque Rear’. The exhaust note is well-taken care of with the use of a variable flap control system that opens and closes the valves depending on the selected drive mode.

The various drive modes include comfort, auto, dynamic (sport), RS individual and efficiency (eco). As for the suspension, it has been calibrated for an even sportier setup than the S3 models as it sits 10 millimetres lower and features new shock absorbers and a valve system unique to the RS3. It can be had with adaptive damper control as an option and that individually adjusts each shock absorber to suit certain road conditions. The front wheels have an additional 1-degree of negative camber to improve cornering. There are six-piston steel brakes as standard, the carbon-ceramic brakes are optional.

The aim of the exterior look was to make it as distinctive as possible and recognizable as an RS model. To set it apart from the Audi S3, the front has a single-frame blacked out surround with a honeycomb grille, larger side air intakes and LED headlights with dynamic turn signals as standard. If you want the lights to do a dancing sequence when you unlock the car, then the Matrix headlights can be optioned and they also have a checkered flag look. The front axle track is 33 millimetres wide and the rear axle track is 10 millimetres wide.

Moving to the side, there are 19-inch 10 Y-spoke wheels as standard. There are sportier 5 Y-spoke wheels with RS branding as an option, even have the brake calipers painted and wrapped in Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres. The rear has an RS-specific bumper with an aggressive diffuser and traditional oval tailpipes. Two RS exclusive colours have been added which are Kyalami Green and Kemora Gray.

The cabin sees a 12.3-inch virtual cockpit plus display placed in front of the driver that can be used to view the map, change the graphics, view lap times and g-forces and optionally have the rpm reading in an RS Runaway design. In the centre is a 10.1-inch touch display that is not only used for infotainment purposes but also shows coolant, engine and oil temperatures. The instrument panel is in carbon fibre, the RS sport seats feature an RS embossed logo and optionally can be covered in Nappa leather with RS honeycomb stitching and glossy black, red or green contrasting stitching. The leather steering wheel has been designed with a 3-spoke look, a 12 o’clock stripe and has an RS mode button.

The Audi RS3 is expected to arrive in Europe in mid-July 2021 and with an expected price tag of 60 000 euros. That is about a million rands and it puts it at a very expensive level.

Source: Audi RS3 Sportback and Sedan Press Release