Performance and 0-60 time
The RS3 utilises the latest Haldex four-wheel drive system, placing the multi-plate clutch in the rear axle to further aid weight distribution. Up to 100 percent of power can now be sent to the rear wheels and torque vectoring by braking has been added to make the RS3 feel even more agile.
A reduction in weight by 55kg down to 1595kg helps to deliver a 4.3-second 0-62mph time while the limiter can be raised from 155mph to 174mph via an optional performance pack.
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Brakes come in the form of 8-piston calipers at the front with Audi's wave profile discs appearing here in 370mm form. Carbon ceramics can also be optioned at the front, saving 5kg a corner.
The engine might sound superb with the sports exhaust, but the anticipated performance never quite materialises. It feels fast but not quite in the overpowered/small car way that you'd hope. In fact, the performance doesn't feel a significant step up over say a Golf R, S3 or M135i.
This is in part thanks to the engine's power delivery. You expect to fire out of a corner on a big hit of torque but instead you have to wait for the engine to spin-up a bit faster before the rush arrives. It's not exactly flat, but doesn't always feel the full 362bhp.