Ingolstadt has revealed its new RS3 Sportback that doubles down on the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG with the most powerful engine in the hot hatch segment.
Due for a world premiere at the 2015 Geneva Auto Show in March, the RS3 is available exclusively as a five-door Sportback and features the most powerful production five-cylinder engine in Audi RS history with 367PS (362hp) and 465Nm (343 lb-ft) from 1,625rpm to 5,550rpm.
“There is a long tradition of five-cylinder engines at Audi,” commented Audi boss Ulrich Hackenberg. “In the 80s, they turned Audi into a sporty brand, both in motor sports and in production. The new Audi RS 3 Sportback features the latest generation of our 2.5 liter, five-cylinder engine – the most powerful production engine in the modular transverse matrix.”
The updated 2.5-liter unit works together with an improved, faster-shifting seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and Audi’s quattro permanent all-wheel drive system with electronically controlled torque vectoring function.
Even though it has additional equipment and safety features, the MQB platform-based RS3 Sportback is 55kg (121 lbs) lighter than its predecessor , tipping the scales at 1,520kg or 3,351 lbs (without driver).
With all that in mind, you won’t be surprised to learn that the new RS3 returns a near supercar-like 0-100km/h (62mph) time of 4.3 seconds, which is 0.3 seconds faster than the previous generation, while keeping its limited top speed of 250km/h (155mph) intact.
A recuperation system, a demand-controlled oil pump and a newly developed start-stop system help the new RS3 get a very respectable 8.1 l/100km (29.0 mpg US / 34.8mpg UK) on the European cycle with CO2 emissions of 189g/km.
Audi engineers retuned the suspension that now sits 25mm lower than the regular A3s and can be equipped with an optional magnetic ride adaptive damper system, while also widening the front (1,599mm) and rear (1,514mm) tracks, and adding a new braking system comprising 370mm discs with eight piston calipers front and 310mm with single-pot calipers.
For some reason, Audi skipped on the boxed fenders on the outside relying on chunkier wheel arches to fit the new 19-inch wheels on 235/35 sports tires front and back. There’s also a matt aluminum-look frame that surrounds the honeycomb grille, redesigned bumpers, side skirts, rear diffuser, roof spoiler and twin-oval pipes.
For the inside, Audi gave the RS3 some special appointments, including a flat-bottomed steering wheel with leather and Alcantara trim, leather-upholstered sports seats, aluminum pedals, Alcantara door inserts, inlays in either 3D design black or optional Aluminium Race or Carbon, and a driver‘s information system enhanced with a boost pressure indicator, an oil temperature gauge and a lap timer.