It's no secret that we love the Audi A3 here at this site, in fact we even had the chance to review the A3 for ourselves recently and loved it. But while the S3 is a tempting treat in its own right, it's always made us wonder what would happen if Audi took it to the next level? The company has answered this all important question by unveiling the next evolution of the A3, the all new RS3.
The headline snatching feature of this tiny track terror is what lies under the hood, with the RS3 packing the same 400 horsepower 2.5 liter turbocharged five cylinder that also sees duty in the TT-RS. This potent power plant is the most powerful five cylinder on the market, and its 400 horsepower figure is impressive considering that this figure is usually reserved for larger offerings.
These numbers also allow Audi's potent track slayer to make the sprint to 62 mph in 4.1 seconds before topping out at 155 mph. For RS3 buyers that want even more speed, Audi can raise the limiter to 174 mph which should please frequent visitors to the famed Autobahn in Germany.
In addition to its impressive engine, the RS3 also packs other performance goodies to spice up the daily commute. This includes a seven speed dual clutch automatic transmission and the familiar Quattro all-wheel drive system which has been tweaked to cope with the extra power. The management of the system is also bundled into the car's select dynamic system, which incorporates settings for the steering, engine management system, gearbox, and the adjustable flaps in the exhaust system. Like before, drivers can choose from three modes - Comfort, Normal, and Dynamic with a seperate Individual mode for buyers looking to tailor the RS3 to their select tastes.
The exterior styling even benefits from an extra injection of aggression, and the car comes equipped with a full suite of exterior add ons including a revised front bumper with a bigger front splitter,
a massive rear diffuser for the rear bumper, larger air intakes as well as beefy oval tailpipes. 19-inch wheels round out the package, and add an intimidating exclamation point to the RS3's overall vibe.
Improved handling is also part of this track oriented package, and the little Audi benefits from a one inch drop in ride height as well as tweaks to the four link rear axle. Braking is covered by four wheel disc brakes with 14.6 inch units up front and 13.2 inch discs in the rear. Each one wields eight piston brake calipers that feature larger area linings than its S3 counterpart. Audi promises to also have carbon ceramic front brake discs as optional equipment which should please track day warriors looking for more stopping power off the streets.
All of these upgrades should allow the RS3 to standout against rivals such as the CLA45 AMG as well as the M2 but buyers here in the U.S. will have to wait until the summer of 2017 to snag one for their garage.
When it does eventually arrive, the RS3 will spearhead a new sub-label called "Audi Sport" which will add more models to its roster over the next few years. Also look for formal pricing information to be released before it's formal launch with initial projections putting its base MSRP well above that of the S3.