Audi returns to the hot-hatch market with the introduction of the new generation RS3 Sportback, a car that will have to regain clients stolen by Mercedes A45 AMG and even BMW M135i. The new Audi RS3 Sportback was officially unveiled ahead of its Detroit Motor Show debut, and comes with more power and a lighter body.
The successor to the original RS 3 Sportback makes its debut this month, retaining a heavily reworked 367 hp version of the classic five-cylinder 2.5-litre TFSI engine mated to faster-shifting S-tronic transmission and faster-reacting quattro drive.
The new RS 3 Sportback is also 55kg (121 pounds) lighter, tipping the scales at 1,520kg (2,251 pounds without driver), despite additional equipment and safety features. Against the clock, its resulting power-to-weight ratio of 241PS per ton helps it to clear the 62mph marker from rest in just 4.3 seconds, and to continue to an electronically governed 155mph top speed. On request, the maximum speed can be increased to 174mph.
Even so, the RS model is capable of returning up to 34.8 mpg, corresponding to CO2 emissions of 189g/km. A seven-speed S-tronic transmission, which has been reworked to offer even faster shifts, directs the power to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.
The quattro system features torque vectoring based on intelligent software. The chassis of the five-door model also sets new standards. Compared with the Audi A3 Sportback, the body sits 25 millimetres lower, and the track of the McPherson front suspension has been widened to 1,559 millimetres (61 inches).
The internally ventilated disc brakes measure 370 millimetres in diameter at the front and 310 millimetres at the rear. The front friction rings feature a weight-saving wave design and are perforated for maximum heat dissipation.