SECOND-GEN RS3 IN SA: Audi has unveiled its uber-hatch the RS3 Sportback. It has 270kW/465Nm courtesy of a 2.5 turbocharged engine. Image: Quickpic
Cape Town - Audi's new RS3 Sportback has arrived in South Africa. The new hot hatch sports the automaker's five-cylinder 2.5 FSI petrol with quattro S tronic.
The RS3 Sportback is priced at R710 000.
The 2.5 TFSI engine, capable of 270kW/465Nm, enabling the five-door to rocket from 0 to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds. The RS3 is capable of reaching a limited top speed of 250km/h however this can be optionally raised to 280km/h.
Gallery: Audi RS3 Sportback
The standard seven-speed S tronic transfers is mated to a Audi's Quattro all-wheel drive. The driver can choose between two auto modes or shift manually using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the selector lever.
Read: 6 reasons why Audi's potent RS6 is bonkers!
Fuel consumption is rated at a claimed 8.1 litres/100km (10% less than its predecessor) with emissions of 189g/km.
Seven RS-badged models in SA
Audi hopes to build on local success of the previous generation (with 174 units sold in SA) with the latest addition to its RS line-up which expands to seven models; the RS 3 Sportback, RS Q3, RS 4 Avant, RS 5 Coupé, RS 5 Cabriolet, RS 6 Avant and the RS 7 Sportback.
According to Audi: "Two flaps in the exhaust control the exhaust flow to provide for an even more intensive sound experience that varies with engine load and speed. The driver can control these flaps via the Audi drive select system. For the first time in this segment, Audi offers a sport exhaust system as an option."
The five-door compact has a curb weight (without driver) of 1520kgs, 55kg less than its predecessor.
Design and interior
In terms of design, RS3 Sportback has single-frame black honeycomb grille, aluminum details, large air inlets, front blade apron, widened fenders, chiseled side sills, aluminum-look side-mirrors and large spoiler. Owners can order an optional carbon engine cover.
The interior is black with RS badging throughout. The sport seats are covered in leather with contrast grey stitching as is the RS multi-function sport steering wheel and the gear shift. The driver information system includes a boost pressure indicator, an oil temperature gauge and a lap timer. The dials in the RS instrument cluster are black, the needles red and the scales white.
It has stainless steel pedals and footrest, leather trim for the doors with slender door releases with black inlays (optional aluminum or carbon).
Customers can choose S sport seats with diamond-stitching, embossed logos and optional light-coloured upholstery and RS bucket seats with integrated side-airbags and a carbon shell.
Audi says: "Another attractive option is the RS 3 interior design package with red accents on the knee pad, the air vents, the floor mats and the seat belts."
History of five-cylinder Audis
Powerful five-cylinder engines have a long tradition at Audi. During the 1980s, they powered the automaker's rally, touring and production cars.
The first RS model, the RS 2 from 1994, also had this engine. The five-cylinder made a comeback in 2009 in the Audi TT RS; it made its way into the previous generation RS 3 Sportback in 2011 and two years later into the RS Q3.
• 19" alloy rims
• Sports suspension
• Xenon plus headlights headlights
• Audi drive select
• Audi music interface
• Audi sound system
• Bluetooth interface with audio streaming
• Parking System Plus
• Fine Nappa leather upholstery
• Front sport seats with RS embossing
• Light/rain sensor
• Aluminium look interior enhancements
• Front centre armrest
• RS3 Leather-trimmed, three-spoke flat bottom multi-function steering wheel with shift paddles
• Cruise control system
• Digital air conditioning
• LED interior lighting
The Audi RS3 Sportback is sold with a five-year or 100 000km Audi Freeway Plan.