Feast your eyes on the new Audi RS 3 - now revealed in full for the first time.
The headline stats are that the RS 3 is now more powerful, has more torque, is quicker off the line, and boasts better handling than ever before.
Power - all 400 PS of it - comes from a 2.5 litre, five-cylinder petrol engine that now unleashes 500 Nm of torque, 20 Nm more than in the previous model.
The 0-62mph time has been slashed from 4.1 seconds to just 3.8 seconds. And while the standard RS 3 is limited to 155mph, Launch Edition and Vorsprung models see that increase to 174mph. With the RS Dynamic package and ceramic brakes, customers can even reach a top speed of 180mph.
As before, the RS 3 is available as both a hatchback and a saloon.
And what you also need to know about the RS 3 is that it now features a ‘Torque Splitter’ - the first ever fitted to any Audi vehicle. The splitter distributes drive torque between the rear wheels in a fully variable manner.
Simply speaking, the splitter gives you optimal stability and maximum agility when cornering at high speeds. When hooning around on the track it also means you can pull-off controlled drifts by applying all of the engine power to just one of the rear wheels.
With all that get up and go, the RS 3 also needs to stop in a hurry - which isn’t a problem with this facelift.
The new RS 3 comes standard-equipped with larger six-piston steel brakes, while the ceramic brake system measuring 380 by 38mm is an option.
And then, of course, there’s the way the RS 3 - available in standard, Carbon, Launch Edition and Vorsprung specifications - looks. We saw a camouflaged version at the end of June but this is the first time we’ve seen the hot-hatch in all of its finery. And it’s hard not to be impressed.
Overall, the car has been widened to give it a more aggressive stance. There’s a new RS bumper at the front with a honeycomb grille, larger air intakes, and flat, wedge-shaped LED headlights and tail lights.
There’s also now an additional air intake behind the front wheel arches
At the rear, there’s a redesigned RS-specific bumper with integrated diffuser as well as the RS exhaust system with two large oval tailpipes.
The interior boasts Audi’s 12.3-inch ‘virtual cockpit plus’ system as standard, which displays the rpms in the form of a bar graph, shows power and torque as percentages, and also features g-forces, lap times and acceleration speeds.
The 10.1-inch touch display includes what is referred to as the ‘RS Monitor’, which displays the coolant, engine, and transmission oil temperatures as well as tyre pressures.
Meanwhile there’s swathes of carbon fibre and lovingly-embossed RS sport seats.
Sebastian Grams, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH, says: “With the third generation of the Audi RS 3 Sportback and the second generation of the Audi RS 3 Saloon, we now offer premium sports cars that are suitable for everyday use and equally thrilling to drive on public roads and racetracks.
“They represent the entry point into our RS world and, thanks to the torque splitter, the ultimate in outstanding performance in the compact segment.”
The Audi RS 3 Sportback and RS 3 Saloon will be available to order in the UK starting in mid‑August 2021, with first customer deliveries due towards the end of the year.
The base price for the RS 3 Sportback is set at £50,900, while the RS 3 Saloon is listed at £51,900. Full UK pricing and specification will be announced shortly.
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