We’ve seen it in camo, and we’ve heard all about its fancy rear torque splitter, but now, we finally get to see it all together in full. Here it is, then, the all-new Audi RS3 – and it’s rather stunning, isn’t it?
As before, the all-new Audi RS3 will be available in both sedan and fastback form, with both getting the aggressive styling treatment including larger air intakes, flared wheel arches (with chunky front brake vents!), and larger exhaust exits at the rear.
But for the first time ever, the German carmaker has also given the compact performance model a bespoke front end to differentiate it from its regular A3 brethen.
Unique to the RS3 twins is the new front grille surround in black (either matte or glossy) that extends into the headlights, which themselves comes with darkened bezels, and are also optionally upgradeable to matrix LED items.
The sinister black theme continues throughout the exterior styling of the new hot hatch/sedan, as seen on the side skirts, wing mirrors, rear diffuser, and optionally, the roof, which we think works really well on the striking new Kyalami Green exterior colour.
Compared to the regular A3, the RS3 also sits 25 mm lower, thanks to its performance-oriented suspension set-up and bespoke subframes. It also has a 33 mm wider track up front and 10 mm at the back over the old car for improved handling and a wider stance.
As revealed earlier, the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine from its predecessor has been retained on this all-new model. Horsepower output hasn’t changed at 400 hp, but its torque figures have now been bumped up to 500 Nm.
Paired to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox and all-wheel drive, the all-new RS3 propels from zero to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds – that’s three tenths faster than its predecessor, and a tenth faster than the Mercedes-AMG A 45 S.
Top speed in standard form is rated at 250 km/h, but customers can optionally upgrade it to 280 km/h, or 290 km/h with the RS Dynamic Package – the latter is the fastest in its class, Audi says.
The Quattro all-wheel drive system has also been updated on the all-new Audi RS3 with a new RS Torque Splitter system, which uses a pair of multi-disc clutch packs, one for each rear wheel, to direct up to 100% of the power to any one wheel. The new system is also what gives the RS3 its ability to execute “controlled drift”, courtesy of the new ‘RS Torque Rear’ mode.
Other performance upgrades include the new set of larger six-pot brakes up front, mated to ventilated and drilled discs on each axle. Buyers can also opt for ceramic brake discs for the front axle if they so wish, alongside factory-appointed semi-slick tyres for improved on-track performance.
As for the interior, Audi has suitably given the RS3 some additional flair over the A3 to complement its performance credentials. The instrument panel is made out of carbon fibre for maximum “racing feeling”, and buyers can even opt for a RS Design package to add even more flourishes in the form of red or green piping and accent highlights on the seats and air-con vents.
A 12.3-inch instrument cluster is fitted as standard, and features RS-specific displays including a ‘RS Runway’ rev counter design. To the side is a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen display, which also comes with a ‘RS Monitor’ feature that shows additional real-time performance-oriented data such as coolant, engine and gearbox oil temperatures.
The all-new Audi RS3 will go on sale in August, priced from GBP50,900 (~RM295k) and GBP51,900 (~RM301k) respectively for the hatchback and sedan variants in the UK. First customer deliveries are expected to begin towards the end of the year.