Audi Gives RS3 Sportback A Facelift And 400 Horses

Almost a year after the introduction of the facelifted A3 and S3 range last April, and several months after the debut of the RS3 sedan at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Audi thought it would be a good time to present the updated RS3 Sportback.

The shorty story is that the go-fast hatch adopts the subtle styling, equipment and tech improvements from the regular A3, and the more powerful 400PS (395hp) turbo five from the new RS3 Sedan.

In more detail and starting from the most important upgrade for 2017, the RS3 Sportback gains the same lightweight, five-cylinder, 2.5-liter turbocharged engine found in both the RS3 sedan and the TT RS. It’s not only 26kg (57.3 lb) lighter thanks to its aluminum crankcase, among other features, but also gains 33hp and 11 lb-ft (15Nm) over its predecessor, delivering 400PS (395hp) and 480Nm (354.0 lb-ft) available from 1,700 rpm up to 5,850 rpm.

As before, the five-cylinder lump is paired exclusively to an S-tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel.

Audi claims a 0-100km/h (62mph) time of 4.1 seconds, beating the pre-facelift model by 0.2 seconds, while top speed is electronically capped at 250km/h (155mph), though you can specify an option that increases it to 280km/h (174mph).

The RS3 hatch returns a combined fuel consumption of 8.3 liters per 100 kilometers (28.3 US mpg), which equates to 189 grams of CO2/km (304.2 g/mi).

Exterior revisions for 2017 largely mimic those of the standard A3 and the sporty S3 including new headlights with optional matrix LED operation, a more angular surround for the single-frame grille, reprofiled bumpers with a redesigned front blade and tweaked rear diffuser in the case of the RS3, and new tail lamp graphics.

In the cabin, the most notable change is the availability of the of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit set-up. Here, Audi created a special RS screen that shifts the tachometer to the center, displaying on either side the readings for torque, g‑forces and tire pressure. Furthermore, when the transmission is operating in manual mode, a scale with a color background prompts the driver to use the steering wheel paddle or selector lever to upshift when approaching maximum rpm.

Elsewhere, the RS3 Sportback gets seats with more contoured profiles, an updated infotainment system, and the addition of a new emergency assist feature that automatically stops the car if required, and cross traffic assist rear.

European orders for the RS3 Sportback will begin from April 2017, with first deliveries in August. We’ll see the hot hatch in the flesh at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show in March.

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  • Denzel

    Looking pretty sweet wish we could have gotten this but can’t wait till the sedan is here.

  • Zandit75

    Still prefer the sedan. Can’t wait to see the reviews.
    Does the centre screen go up and down on demand?
    Pic# 5/24 shows the car in motion, but you can’t see the screen up .

    • Contejas

      Probably does since the a3’s and s3’s does

      • Zandit75

        Thanks for that. Seems a bit weird. I would have thought it stayed up when ever the car is running.

        • Sébastien

          I’d presume it only reappears if you had it up last time you turned off the engine.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    They’re doing this NOW?

    • Zandit75

      Why not?

      • Tumbi Mtika

        It’s been awhile…

    • TheHake

      The A3 range was just updated/facelifted.

      • Tumbi Mtika

        ohhh…

  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    i hate that disgusting hp output competition among german cars.

    • TheHake

      WHAAAAAAAAAT? Take that back! I LOVE the great hp output competition among German cars!

    • Tinky-Winky

      What kind of petrolhead hates horsepowers?

      • Belthronding Tinuviel

        Actually none of the petrolheads hate horsepower.but my definition was not correct.
        i meant that, i hate that overweighted but higher hp output cars.

  • Miknik

    Apart from that increasingly ridiculous HP war I find it even more ridiculous that you buy a 400hp hatchback with a truly premium price tag and then yet have to pay extra so the speed is not limited….

    • Belthronding Tinuviel

      +1

  • TheHake

    want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want want

  • SteersUright

    The reviews on RS3’s are never great. They’re always described as numb, too smooth, not great handling (very nose heavy) and dont even have Audi signature flared fenders like their rally/race cars to distinguish them from any run-of-the-mill A3 with an S-line package. Sorry, not enough invested here to make this car special and deserving of its high price.