Audi unveiled the RS3 Sedan at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, while the new A3 went on sale in May last year. Following that, a new and updated RS3 Sportback is making its way at the forthcoming 2017 Geneva Motor Show.
As with the RS3 Sedan, the Sportback will come with what Audi calls “world’s most powerful production five-cylinder engine” – 2.5-litre TFSI engine which makes 394bhp and 480 Nm. The power is up by 33bhp and 15Nm over the previous car, while the weight is reduced by 26kg owing to extensive use of aluminium for engine components. The Sportback will sprint to 100kmph from standstill in 4.1seconds and top out at electronically limited 250kmph, though it can be pushed to 174mph by opting the ‘dynamic package plus’.
As with all RS model’s tradition, power is sent to Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system via an S-Tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The car sits 25mm lower than the standard A3 and boasts a 20mm wider track at the front axle. Braking responsibilities are taken care by 310mm discs both fore and aft, with carbon-ceramic as optional fitment. Audi drive select system offers three modes – comfort, auto and dynamic. It allows the driver to alter steering, transmission, engine management, adjustable exhaust flaps and optional RS sports suspension with an adaptive damper control.
The RS3 Sportback can be distinguished from standard A3 by the aggressive bumper with prominent splitters, brushed aluminium touches with Quattro moniker upfront. The gloss black honeycomb grille design is the new Audi motif, while the redesigned LED headlamps from last year’s updates come with Audi’s Matrix unit as an optional extra. At the rear, there is a reworked spoiler atop the tailgate, altered tail lamp, new diffuser with aluminium surround and twin oval exhaust tailpipes.
Inside the cabin, Audi’s Virtual cockpit makes its debut, with a special RS screen. The RS screen display shifts the tachometer to the centre, with torque, G-forces and tyre pressure on the either side. The sports seats are wrapped in black Nappa leather, flat bottom steering wheel with mounted paddle shifters and infotainment controls.
We could see the new RS3 Sportback in all its glory at the Geneva show in March. The Sportback will take on the BMW M140i xDrive and Mercedes-Benz A45 4Matic upon its arrival.