Audi is currently launching the new RS3 in both Sedan and Sportback forms, with a new gallery fresh off the press event.
The biggest highlight of the new version is of course that five-cylinder engine which has been updated beyond what the slightly increased numbers might reveal.
The updated turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine now makes 400PS (395 hp) and 354 lb-ft (480 Nm) of peak torque, making the new Audi RS3 one really seriously powerful car for its size.
But the changes run deeper than the increased output figures might suggest, as Audi has also made the engine 26kg (57.3 lb) lighter as well, further improving the model’s power-to-weight ratio. The crankcase is now made from aluminum, instead of compacted graphite iron, the cylinder barrels are plasma-coated, the crankshaft is hollow bored while the aluminum pistons now get integrated channels for oil cooling.
Audi’s new RS3 is now capable of catapulting itself from zero to 62mph (100km/h) in 4.1 seconds, thanks to the permanent Quattro all-wheel drive system and the standard dual-clutch S-Tronic seven-speed transmission. Top speed is limited to 155mph (250km/h) but tick the right box in the options list and the new RS3 will top out at a more impressive 174mph (280km/h).
The suspension has also been updated while Audi is also offering as an option the RS Sport Suspension Plus which is a fancy way of how the Germans call their adaptive dampers. There is even the option of front carbon disc brakes, if you feel like the standard 370mm steel discs are not going to cover your needs.
“Now, with 400 hp, it will take up pole position worldwide – and not only in the RS 3 Sportback but also in the RS 3 Sedan”, said Stephan Winkelmann, Managing Director of Audi Sport GmbH. “Both models will offer our customers an attractive entry into the RS world.”
It all sounds very good indeed and if Audi has managed to match the glorious soundtrack of that engine with a proper fun driving character, things will not be that easy for the Mercedes-AMG A45.