Audi’s New RS3 Turn Up The Heat!
Audi has just launched their latest RS sedan and hatch, and let’s face it, the mid-size performance segment better watch out!
Local South African Audi fans, and anyone with an ounce of petrol in their veins have every reason to celebrate this Spring, because Audi has just released their brand new RS3 Sportback (that’s Copywriter speak for hatchback) and sedan.
Now usually I have never been an A3 fan, but I will admit that this latest incarnation is outrageously hot. A couple of years ago, Audi began phasing out the friendly look of the A3, and it seems like that practice has come full circle with the new RS3, just check out that front-end! The aggressive switch-back headlights are cut into three sections, each sporting 5 LEDs and the massive blacked-out front grille looks menacing, like it could eat small animals. Even the sides skirts could not escape this touch of aggressive design and now feature a sharp cut-out strip along the lower edge, while the back bumper sports a large meshed centre section and a lower diffuser. Top these off with the “Batman” style wing on the sedan and the double-finned boot spoiler on the Sportback, and you would think that a high-end aftermarket tuner was responsible for the RS3's styling.
The wheels also look like they’ve come from a high-end aftermarket supplier, black Y-spoke 19-inch rims which are available with Pirelli P-Zero “Trofeo R” semi-slick tyres as an option.
On the inside, things are just as hot as on the outside, but Audi has dialled back a little bit on the aggression in favour of comfort. The new dashboard is clean and with the vents sitting atop as opposed to flush while the centre console rises at an angle like that in the new Porsche 911. The only letdown in the interior are the front seats. They look cool with the special stitching on the inside, but I do think Audi should’ve has gone with a racier set of seats.
Seats aside, the interior is also loaded with features like the Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound and Audi smartphone interface. My favourite features of the new RS3 interior though are not those which focus on comfort or entertainment, it’s the red-blooded race-inspired displays that come courtesy of Audi’s virtual cockpit. These displays tell you how much g-force you are experiencing as well as your lap, 0 – 100 km/h, 0 – 200 km/h, quarter-mile, and eighth-mile times.
All those race-inspired features would mean nothing if Audi never gave the RS3 the power needed to make knowing your 0-100km/h time worthwhile. Luckily for the world, they’ve equipped the RS3 with a 2.5 litre 5-cylinder turbocharged TFSI engine, which just happens to have won the “International Engine of the Year” award 9 times in a row. Now I don’t know the exact reason why it won the award 9 times, but I suspect is because, in the RS3, it's producing 294kW and 500Nm of torque.
Being an RS model, its only natural that the car is equipped with Audi’s legendary Quattro all-wheel drive system, and thanks to all four wheels working together to put the power onto the tarmac, RS3 drivers get to enjoy a 0-100km/h acceleration time of ONLY 3.8 seconds! Couple that with a top speed pegged at 250km/h, and you've got a pretty scary car on your hands.
Now we come to the really scary part of the RS3, well scary depending on the LSM group that you fall into. If you want an RS3 Sportsback, prices start at R1,215,000 while the sedan retails from R1,245,000.
That price is steep but it’s a blistering hot car, and given just how big the performance scene is right now, these things are going to fly off dealership floors.