RS3 SPORTBACK RETURNS: The performance version of Audi’s A3, the RS3 Sportback, will arrive in South Africa later in 2015. Image: Audi
• RS3 sportback to for SA in 2015.
• 2.5 litre, five-cylinder, engine
• 0-100 in 4.3 seconds
• Lighter, faster-shifting, S tronic
Audi has confirmed its monstrous RS3 Sportback is headed for South Africa equipped with the automaker’s most powerful production five-cylinder engine, a tribute to Audi’s classic cars of the 1980's.
The latest evolution of the 2.5 five-cylinder TFSI can make 270kW/465Nm, sent via the seven-speed S tronic twin-clutch transmission to 'quattro' all-wheel-drive. Fuel consumption is listed as 8.1 litres/100km with emissions of 189g/km. Which should be something to behold...
Anyway, Ulrich Hackenberg, Audi's board member for technical development, told Wheels24: “There's a long tradition of five-cylinder engines at Audi. In the 1980's they turned Audi into a sport brand - on road, track and rallies. This new Audi RS 3 Sportback has the latest generation of our 2.5 five – the most powerful production engine in the modular transverse matrix.”
0-100KM IN 4.3 SEC
Audi's hottest RS3 rockets to 100km/h in 4.3sec and will keep on accelerating until electronically stopped at 250km/h (280km/h if, Audi says, you have “regular autobahn access”. Which is a bit of a crock because most sections of such roads are not speed-limited - the coveted black diagonal band across a white background is fast-disappearing.
Its light construction has shed 55kg to 1520kg, despite more equipment and crash protection/avoidance features.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Audi RS3 Sportback
Compared to the standard A3 Sportback, the RS3’s body sits 25mm lower. Track is 1.5mm wider and the suspension has high-strength aluminium bearings. The rear axle, which has a width of 1.5m, is a four-link construction with rods of high-strength steel that handle longitudinal and lateral forces separately.
It has ventilated disc brakes, 370mm at the front and 310mm at the rear, with black eight-piston fixed callipers (red's an option) and bearing RS logos. Buyers can also choose carbon fibre-reinforced ceramic brake discs at the front (370mm), with grey callipers.
In terms of design, it has a gloss black, honeycomb grille with aluminium frame and RS badging. The front also gains larger air intakes and a generally more sporty treatment.
It has new door sills, aluminium external mirrors, a large roof spoiler, re-modelled bumpers (with black diffusers) and new oval tailpipes. Optional extras include 19” titanium or black alloy rims instead of the standard 19” five-spoked.
The cabin has leather sport seats and flat-bottomed leather-clad RS multifunction sports steering wheel. It has steel pedals, leather door inserts, the inlays of which can be black, aluminium or carbon-fibre. The instruments are framed in black with black-faced dials, red needles and white scales. The car-information system is enhanced by a boost-pressure indicator, oil temperature gauge and lap timer.
For the first time in the compact class Audi will include its new RS bucket seats with side air bags and a carbon-fibre shell. The new seat is 7kg lighter than the standard sports seat. The RS3 Sportback’s interior can be enhanced with a design package which included red accents on the seats, air vents, mats and seat belts.
According to Audi: “The distinctive rhythm of the 1-2-4-5-3 five-cylinder ignition sequence (what the hell, rather hear and watch it live here - the classic Audi soundtrack played out since the 1980's by rally cars, touring cars and production models such as the Ur quattro, the RS 2 and the TT RS – washes over the cabin as the new RS 3 Sportback gathers momentum.
“Two flaps in the exhausts control the exhaust flow to provide for an even more intensive sound experience that varies with engine load and speed and the driver can control the flaps via the Audi drive select adaptive dynamics system, which is standard. For the first time in an Audi model at this level, the already fittingly bass-heavy RS exhaust system can be replaced at extra cost by an even richer-sounding sports exhaust upgrade.”
The new Audi RS3 Sportback will arrive in South Africa in the fourth quarter of 2015.