The 2015 Audi RS3 Sportback quattro is set to make its UK debut in March, its European launch in about six months time and its Australian launch by the end of 2015. There is no word yet on whether Audi plans on selling it in the U.S. in the near future.
The five cylinder 2.5 litre engine is a reworked version of the engine used in the previous RS3. It’s also the powerplant that drives the current TT RS and RS Q3 models.
The performance figures are impressive. The outputs 270kW/465Nm (362 horsepower) beat both the 2.0-litre four-cylinder A45 AMG (265kW/450Nm) and the 3.0-litre six-pot BMW M135i (235kW/450Nm). Its claimed 0-100km/h time of 4.3 seconds — three-tenths faster than before — is also the class-best. Top speed is limited at 155 mph. But drivers with access to the autobahn can request to have that top speed raised to 174 mph.
These impressive performance stats come courtesy of a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch auto box with paddles. It has an electronically controlled but hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch that weighs 1.4kg less than its predecessor. The engine sends power to all four wheels via Audi’s variable quattro system that can send between 50 and 100 per cent of available torque to the rear axle.
Visually, the RS3 can be differentiated from the 210kW S3 by its more aggressively styled front bumper with the typical Quattro fangs fitted to the lower cooling ducts. At the rear there’s a new roof spoiler and muscular rear diffuser which incorporates the trademark twin oval exhaust tips. The standard wheels are 19-inch (235/35) though larger and wider alloys will be available as options.
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