The new king of hot hatches has arrived and this one hails from Audi. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show is the new 395 hp Audi RS3 Sportback.
Based on the facelifted A3, the revised RS3 sports a redesigned hexagonal “singleframe” grille with black honeycomb, new bumpers, LED headlights and a sportier roof spoiler. Other sporty allures come from the rear diffuser, quad exhaust, lower ride height and 19-inch RS alloys. Options include the Audi Virtual Cockpit.
Underneath the hood is a the same inline-five, 2.5-litre turbocharged engine that weighs less and produces more output. It’s makes about 33 hp and 15 Nm more than its predecessor, bringing the final output up to 395 hp and 480 Nm. That makes it 14 hp more powerful than the dominant Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic. What’s more, the 0-100 km/h sprint is accomplished in 4.1 seconds – 0.1 seconds quicker than the A45. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h, but with customer’s request (with an added fee, of course), it can reach up to 280 km/h.
As always with Audi sport models, quattro is standard, which sends drive to all four wheels through a seven-speed S tronic (dual clutch) transmission. The quattro uses an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch to distribute the required amount of torque to each axle. Ride is improved as well, thanks to RS Sport suspension with adaptive damper control, but this is a cost option.
Well, now that the cat is out of the bag, it’s only a matter of time before Mercedes-AMG and BMW M responds. The question becomes, do we really need that much power in a car that’s relatively… small?