The Audi A3 has been given some go fast bits. The all new RS3 Sportback will be one of the fastest hatchbacks when it hits showroom sometime in 2011.
It will share the Audi TT RS’ 2.5-litre turbocharged 5-cylinder engine, producing 250kW and 450Nm of torque between 1,600 rpm and 5,300 rpm.
Power is sent to all four wheels via a 7-speed S-tronic dual-clutch transmission with two auto and one manual modes.
The century sprint is achieved in a mere 4.6 seconds, while top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. For such exhilarating performance, the RS3 only consumes a claimed average of 9.1 litres/100km and emits 212g of CO2 per kilometre.
Starting with a platform that is shared with the VW Golf, Audi’s RS division has widened the front and rear tracks, added new coil springs and redesigned the shock absorbers to improve handling. The result is a car that sits 25mm closer to the tarmac compared with the standard A3.
No fast cars are complete without big wheels and fat tires and the RS3 is no exception. It rides on new 19-inch cast aluminium wheels wearing 235/35 series tires at front and 225/35 at the rear. The wheels come standard with machine-polished titanium-look styling, but are optionally available in black with red rim flange.
All these are stopped by internally ventilated discs measuring 370mm in diameter at the front and 310mm at the rear.
On top of that, the electronic stability programme (ESP) features a Sport mode and can be switched off completely.
On the outside, Audi’s designers have increased the bulge of the wheel arches to accommodate the wider tracks. The front of the RS3 is also distinguished by a new front bumper with massive air vents. This is joined by side skirts and a rear apron housing a diffuser and twin tail pipes. The RS trademark matt aluminium mirrors and roof spoiler cap off the exterior make over.
Inside, you will find a chunky flat bottom steering wheel, a pair of body hugging bucket seats, wrapped in fine Nappa leather with contrasting stitching and upgraded interior trim throughout.
At launch, the RS3 will be available exclusively as a 5-door. The RS3 Sportback will begin delivery in Europe in early 2011 with a base price in Germany at €49,900.