The segment of premium hot hatchbacks has experienced rapid growth and technical development over the last years, with the Audi RS3 Sportback as the leader of the pack and the first to crack the 300bhp mark back in 2011. The current model boasts a staggering 367bhp and the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing for the German Autobahn.
Fast, furios and compact
Despite the ever increasing amount of SUV’s on the worlds roads and highways, german car manufacturers have discovered the niche of compact sport cars, not only as a promotional tool but as a best seller among those who desire a practical four door every day runabout.
Where it all began..
All began with the Volkswagen Golf R32, which in its second generation delivered 250bhp from a size-able six cylinder in a car of small proportions. Even though the transmission could not handle the power delivery and needed frequent replacement, the car paved the way for the BMW 130i, Audi’s RS3 and later Mercedes A43 AMG. The increase in power came with downsized cubic capacity, meaning four cylinders for Mercedes and Volkswagen and a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-liter engine for the Audi with a standard seven-gear double clutch system and the obligatory quattro four wheel drive.
Performance to impress
The sprint from 0-100 takes a mere 4.3 seconds, good enough to scare off any Porsche waiting at a red traffic light. Apart from the wider wheel arches and double exhaust system which is larger than that of the previous RS6 not much gives away the humongous difference between the RS3 and a normal A3. On normal roads the RS3 proves to be at its best and a real packet of joy for any driver. The engine does build a short turbo lag before sprinting off, but is genius at cornering. The quattro drive splits the power according to driving circumstances, the faster you chase it around a corner, the more power is transmitted to the rear axle. And the four wheel drive will not stop it from going sideways, even on dry pavement. In short the RS3 is the A3 on testosterone, and the little brother in the RS family.
2017 Audi RS3
Engine: 2.5 TFS(
Power @ rpm: 367bho (270kW) @ 5,559-6,800
Torque @ rpm: 465 N·m (343 lb·ft) @ 1,625–5,550
0-100 km/h: 4.3 s
Top speed: 280 km/h
Transmission: 7-speed S Tronic
Price: starting from 54.600 EUR list price at Audi dealerships across Europe