As the saying goes, two is better than one; and the Audi RS3 is about to touch down in the UK in familiar five-door Sportback form but now in Saloon as well! The Sportback to be priced from £44,300 (RM 250,672) and Saloon from £45,250 (RM 255,947).
The 2.5 TFSI engine, the most powerful five-cylinder engine ever to empower a series production Audi is 26 kg lighter than before. But unlike before, it now produces close as makes no different almost 400 hp and 480 Nm of torque with a formidable zero to 100 km/h time of just 4.1 seconds before topping out at 280 km/h.
Converting all that power to large numbers on the speedometer is a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission that works in tandem with the infamous quattro permanent all-wheel drive system. Characteristics of the steering, engine, exhaust notes and power delivery are all be determined through the Audi drive select.
The underpinnings of the car consist of MacPherson strut front and four-link rear suspension, wheel-selective torque control and RS-specific Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC), which together further solidifies the sound handling prowess established by previous RS3’s. Anchoring the car’s performance is the task of carbon ceramic discs clamped with eight-piston caliper.
The Sportback models come with 19-inch ‘five-arm rotor‘ design alloy wheels, while the newly introduced Saloons feature a 19-inch ‘five-arm blade’ design. Aesthetics is also enhanced with the unmistakable RS-specific honeycomb single frame design grille with matt aluminium outlines, deepen side skirts and rear spoilers that vary in both the Sportback and Saloon variants.
Options will be available for the Standard LED headlights to be upgraded to more sophisticated matrix LED units. Inside, you get heated RS-embossed and contrast-stitched front sport seats finished in black Fine Nappa leather and the leather and Alcantara flat-bottomed RS sport steering wheel.
Its Audi Virtual Cockpit provides provides additional RS-specific screens giving driver-focused detail such as tyre pressure, torque and g-forces in the 12.3-inch high resolution display and also the seven-inch colour monitor. Tech wise, present is the MMI Navigation Plus, Audi Smartphone Interface with Android and iOS connectivity and Audi Connect Infotainment module, which comes with a three year subscription for the various online services.
Other tech included in the new RS3 is the Audi phone box that connects itself to the car’s aerial for optimal reception and a Bang & Olufsen sound system producing a mighty 705 watts of power via 14 speakers. The RS3’s Driver Assistance Pack comes with features that assist lane changes, staying within a given lane, help avoid frontal collisions and even pedestrian accidents. However the highlight of the package is the traffic jam assist where the car briefly takes over not only in acceleration and braking but also steers in slow-moving traffic of up to 60 km/h.
Optional upgrades for the RS3 includes a bass-heavy RS Sport exhaust system, RS sport suspension with Audi Magnetic Ride and the Super Sport seats upholstered in Fine Nappa leather. For further touches of distinction, the RS Design Pack adds contrasting red stitching for the armrests, black Alcantara trimmings for the knee pads, red accents in the air vents and red edging for the seatbelts and black floor mats with RS insignias.
For drivers seeking the most intense RS experience, a bass-heavy RS sport exhaust system and RS sport suspension with Audi Magnetic Ride are available as options, and are also under the control of Audi drive select, As an option, front Super Sport Seats also upholstered in Fine Nappa leather are available to hold occupants even more firmly, but no less comfortably, in place on the winding roads that are the natural habitat for the RS 3. To differentiate the high performance flagships further still, customers can also choose an RS Design Pack that adds contrasting