Audi teased us about a potential new RS 3 model earlier in the year with the A3 Clubsport quattro concept. Fast-forward a few months and the real thing is here, albeit in five-door Sportback only form. So, what are the details of the new very hot-hatchback?
Let’s get the headline chasing figures out of the way first. This is still technically a hot-hatchback, but one with the potential to do 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds, and a potential top speed of 174 mph – should you tick the right options box. That’s right, a family hatch’ that could outrun a number of sports cars and super saloons – especially those pegged by 155 mph limiters.
Most significant is the fact the RS 3 retains the wonderful 2.5 litre five-cylinder engine from its predecessor, rather than stick to the current trend of downsizing. Audi has heavily reworked this classic power unit to increase power output to 362 bhp (367 PS), along with 343 lb-ft of torque – increases of 27 bhp and 11 lb-ft over the original RS 3. Naturally, fuel economy and C02 emissions have also improved, but with an official combined 34 mpg it’s still hardly an eco-car!
Audi has gone to lengths to ensure the unique and iconic offbeat sound from the five-cylinder engine enters the cabin of the RS 3, with exhaust flaps to provide an ‘intensive sound experience’ depending on engine load and speed. The flaps can also be controlled by the driver, probably to allow the option to not annoy your neighbours every time you leave home. However, an optional sports exhaust system exists should you want to turn things up to 11 and not care what anyone else thinks! If you need to know what’s so special about the sound, try this for a starter. We’re also rather shocked the RS 3 only has two exhaust tailpipes – not four, like virtually every other performance car that we’ve seen this year! (more…)