Audi has officially introduced the most powerful production five-cylinder in the world, the new Audi RS3 Sportback. This comes following the world premiere of the RS3 Sedan at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
The 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine has a power output of approximately 400hp (33hp more than before) and puts out 480Nm of torque. The new engine is also 26 kilograms lighter thanks to its aluminum crankcase and other lightweight materials.
Performance wise, you would expect the new RS3 to be a missile, and it is. The charge to 100km/h is seen off in 4.1 seconds, and top speed is of course limited to 280km/h, which is more than the 250km/h limit in previous performance Audis.
If fuel efficiency matters to you, then you will be pleased to know that the RS3 needs just 8.3 liters of fuel per 100km/h. But that’s at a constant cruising speed and not at full gallop, naturally.
The Quattro all-wheel-drive system with variable distribution of power encourages sportier driving as well. The electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch distributes torque variably between the two axles, and for an even sportier touch, the more aggressive the driver gets, more torque is channelled to the rear.
Of course, as with most modern Audis, the driver can also chose between three driving modes – comfort, auto and dynamic – all of which makes the drive either more sportier, or more comfortable or somewhere in between.
Providing razor sharp handling is of course the all-wheel-drive system, but other than that there is also the Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC), as well as the fact that the car sits 25 millimetres closer to the ground than the standard A3. The front wheel track is also wider by 20 millimetres and so the wheel arches are also flared accordingly.
Stopping power is provided by 310 millimetre brake discs nestled behind 19-inch wheels and 235/35 tyres. For those who prefer more control, there is an option to upgrade to face warping carbon-fibre ceramic disc brakes.
Inside, the RS3 features unique RS sports seat with fine black Nappa leather. Being an RS model, it comes with the now iconic RS flat-bottomed steering wheel. And also unique to the RS are two circular instrument dials placed at the centre of the dash – one providing turbo boost pressure as well as oil temperature, and the other is a lap timer.
For the tech conscious, there is the optional fully digital Audi virtual cockpit which displays the infotainment system data. Then there is a special RS screen that shifts the tachometer to the centre, while the sides display the readings for torque, g-forces and tyre pressure. There is also a gear indicator when driving in manual mode.
As with all modern sports cars, there is also a high-tech infotainment system in the form of Audi Connect. It offers navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View, while the Audi MMI connect app lets users transfer their smartphone calendars into the MMI system. There is also the usual like online music streaming, Apple Car Play and Android auto and a Wi-Fi hotspot for passengers to connect to.
Rounding off the impressive sports car is a Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 705 watts of power, as well as a number of driver assistance systems such as the Traffic Jam Assist that is able to briefly take over the steering and keeps the car at a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
The Audi RS3 will be launched in Europe in August 2017 at 54,600 Euros (RM258,155 before taxes).