Audi RS3: Details and pictures on the hottest new hatch

Audi's new five-cylinder hot hatchback takes the fight to Mercedes' 355bhp A45 AMG

Audi is clearly serious about its new RS3 Sportback. Not only does the model retain a five-cylinder engine – a layout that following the last model, Audi didn’t plan to revive – but it also beats Mercedes’ indecently quick A45 AMG in terms of maximum output.

With 2480cc and a turbocharger at its disposal, Audi has extracted 362bhp from its five-pot unit. By comparison, the A45 AMG produces 355bhp, albeit from a smaller 2-litre unit.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The RS3 Sportback also puts 343lb ft of torque through its quattro all-wheel drive system, enabling a 4.3sec 0-62mph dash and 155mph top speed. Owners wishing for more can ask their dealer to remove the limiter, sending the five-door hatch to 174mph.

A full Audi RS exhaust system provides the soundtrack. Twin flaps downstream of the silencer control exhaust flow to enhance the RS3’s aural qualities, though again Audi offers an upgrade – a full sports system is optional for the greatest dose of five-pot warble.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Audi has tweaked its familiar seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission for faster-than-ever shifts. A launch control system is standard, while Audi says the S tronic’s ratios have been optimised for low-end acceleration and top-end economy. Combined fuel consumption is 34.9mpg, with CO2 emissions of 189g/km.

Sitting 25mm lower than a standard Sportback, the RS3 also gets a wider front track, variable-rate steering and optional magnetic dampers. Rolling stock comprises 19in cast alloy wheels and 235/35 tyres, though an optional package lets buyers specify wider 255/30 front tyres with 235/35 rears.

This, combined with a quattro system set up to deliver up to 100 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels, torque vectoring, and a dedicated sport ESC setting, promises greater adjustability than some previous Audi RS products.

Exterior styling follows the usual RS cues with silver detailing, deeper front and rear bumper sections and a honeycomb grille element, while interior trim is embellished with an Alcantara-trimmed flat-bottomed wheel and carbonfibre inserts in the dashboard.

Audi hasn’t yet revealed UK pricing for the RS3 Sportback, nor has it announced an on-sale date.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/audi/rs3
Audi RS3 hatchback

2020 Audi RS3 review

11 Feb 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30/n
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N review – verdict, prices and rivals

22 Jul 2020
Visit/skoda/202145/full-2020-skoda-octavia-vrs-engine-range-detailed
Skoda Octavia vRS

Full 2020 Skoda Octavia vRS engine range detailed

3 Jul 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020
Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020