Road Tests

New Audi RS3 Sportback (2018) by the numbers

🙁

Why the sad face?

It’s raining. Really raining. In fact, I’m writing this (mentally, not in actual fact) waiting in a vast traffic jam caused by a mini flood.

So what’s new?

What’s new is my mode of transport, the refreshed R895 500 Audi RS3. Stats: 9 per cent increase in power, 3.2 per cent increase in torque, 2.5 per cent improvement in fuel consumption…

Lucky you.

Indeed. And, yes, before you point it out in a pithy and hilarious remark, RS3 is also 4WD, so these should be perfect conditions for it.

Hahaha, just what I was thinking.

That’s because you’re a fool. Much more fun to drive this 294kW, 480Nm car on dry, empty roads. But it’s easy to get to grips with such a fun, easy-to-drive machine, especially when the steering wheel is coated in lovely Alcantara.

Sounds plush.

Of course it’s plush, it’s a flaming Audi RS3. You can get plushness in every area. You want Super Sport seats? If you’ve got R9000, you got them. You want a banging R9200 Bang & Olufsen sound system? You got it.

Will any of that help with the (inevitably) harsh ride?

Hush your mouth. The ride was good. Yes, I did just say that about a fast Audi. It’d be fair to say it was firm, but, prepared as I was for a jarring experience, it was simply not forthcoming

Grip?

Plenty, thanks. Even in a few inches of water. And impressive braking too.

Carbon-ceramic jobbies?

Available at extra cost: R65 000

How does it compare to its rivals?

Favourably. Audi RS3 is lighter: 1,510kg Sportback, 1,515kg saloon versus the 1,520kg BMW M2 or 1,555kg Mercedes-AMG A45. It’s also got more power, more torque (if you discount BMW’s overboost…) and a quicker zero to 100km/h time. You can also go faster in it full stop: 280km/h, but you’ll have to pay R20 900 for the privilege.

Of having a topper top speed that you can’t use on the road?

Yup.

When can I get mine delivered?

Both Sportback and the R925 500 sedan bodystyle are now on sale.  ESTHER NEVE

Original content: https://www.topgear.com/car-reviews/audi/25-tfsi-rs-3-quattro-5dr-s-tronic/first-drive

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