Audi is completing its A3 stable with the addition of the behemoth RS 3 model in sedan and hatch body configurations.
Although design cues have changed, the previous RS 3’s 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine soldiers on with the same 294 kW of grunt and 500 Nm – 20 Nm more than the outgoing model.
According to Audi, the new RS 3’s power is available earlier at 5,600 r/min and the engine will rev all the way to 7,000 r/min.
On the performance stable, the new Audi RS 3 blitzes from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds before hitting its top speed at 250 km/h. Buyers can optionally increase the top speed to 280 km/h or 290 km/h with the RS Dynamic Package and ceramic brakes.
The new RS 3 employs a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission that sends power to both axles via the quattro system.
For the first time in an Audi, the new RS 3 is fitted standard with a torque-splitter that replaces the rear axle differential and multiple-disc clutch package on the rear axle. This allows controlled drifts at the track.
Another feature, specifically for the new RS 3, is the RS Torque Rear as a drift mode with its own characteristic curve for the torque-splitter. There is also an RS Performance mode made specifically for use at the racetrack.
Other features include a standard RS sports suspension with new shock absorbers and a valve system. An RS Sport suspension with adaptive damper control can be specified as an option.
The new Audi RS 3 comes standard with large and new 6-piston steel brakes. An optional ceramic brake system that measures 380x38 mm can be fitted on the front axle. Opting for the ceramic brakes, the callipers can be painted in grey, red or blue colours while the steel brakes can be had in red instead of black.
Outside, the new Audi RS 3 spawns a wider RS bumper, reworked singleframe honeycomb grille, large air intakes plus standard LED headlights. The rear is bolstered with LED taillights including dynamic turn signal lights.
As an option, the new RS 3 can be fitted with Matrix LED headlights with darkened bezels that feature digital daytime running lights.
Audi has widened the front axle track by 33 mm compared to the outgoing model. The Sportback’s rear axle track has been increased by 10 mm.
It runs on standard 19” cast wheels in 10-Y spoke design. 5-Y spokes with RS branding can be fitted as options and if desired, Audi can fit Pirelli P Zero “Trofeo R” performance semi-slick tyres for the first time.
The exterior is further fitted with an RS-specific rear bumper, integrated diffuser, RS exhaust system plus two large oval exhaust tips. Exterior hues include two exclusive RS colours: Kyalami green and Kemora grey. Those who choose the sedan variant can have its roof painted in Brilliant black for the first time.
The individual exterior features such as the honeycomb grille come standard in black – either in a matte or high-gloss finish.
In addition, Audi also offers an Optic Trim package as an option. The package adds a bit of flair to the front bumper, diffuser insert and window trim. The RS 3 can also be equipped with rocker panel inlays, mirror caps, tailgate spoiler for the sedan and roof edge spoiler for the Sportback in a carbon-fibre-reinforced polymer.
The interior is fitted with a 12.3” Audi virtual cockpit plus and a 10.1” touch display as standard. For the first time in an RS 3, Audi has fitted a head-up display.