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Audi's new RS3 here in 2011

2010-11-22 12:42

SON OF AN RS2: For a long time Audi’s RS badge was not available with the company’s signature five-cylinder engines. This is all changing – rapidly.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer Audi
Model RS3 Sportback
Engine 2.5l, in-line five turbo
Power 250kW @ 5 400 - 6 500r/min
Torque 450Nm @ 1 600 - 5 300r/min
Transmission Seven-speed DSG
Zero To Hundred 4.6 sec
Top Speed 250km/h (limited)
Fuel Consumption 9.1l/100km
Tyres F: 235/35/19 R:225/35/19
Audi's at last released specifications of the successor to its seminal RS2 Avant - and yes, the new RS3 Sportback is quicker than the original Avant supercar-killer.

Due to go on sale in South Africa by the third quarter of 2011, the new RS3 Sportback is the second platform to benefit from Ingolstadt’s regained focus on five-cylinder, high-performance engines.

Powered by the same in-line 2.5 engine found in Audi’s TT-RS, the RS3 should revolutionise compact station-wagon performance parameters for ever – especially since Subaru no longer produces its Impreza station wagon with WRX badging.

Badge of honour

Audi's new Sportback will be the first A3 model to be have with the company's hallowed RS performance branding affixed.

Distinguishing RS3 Sportback from its lesser S3 brethren are matte aluminium side-mirror casings, composite sills, an elaborate roof spoiler and a glossy rear diffuser.

The RS3 Sportback’s cast aluminium alloy rims are an inch larger than the S3’s 18s and carry 235/35 rubber up front tracked by 225/35 at the rear.

The dual-exhaust system's ends are all grouped to the left of the bumper's lower fascia, resulting in a slightly asymmetrical look.

Despite its larger engine adding 60kg (the RS3 weighs 1575kg compared to the 3’s 1515kg) the RS3's neatly rounded outputs of 250kW and 450Nm ensure this new Sportback derivative is plenty quick.

Shifting via the company's latest seven-speed DSG transmission Audi says the RS3 Sportback is good for a 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds, besting the original RS2 Avant by 0.2.

The 2.5-litre, five-cylinder engine is direct-injected and manages to combine forced induction (running 1.2 bar of boost) with an unusually high compression ratio of 10:1, benefitting efficiency and enabling it to return claimed average consumption figures of 9.1 litres/100km.


To ensure it has a level of agility commensurate to its rampant straight-line performance, Audi’s engineers have spaced the RS3’s front wheels 42mm further apart than the S3. Recalibrated shock-absorbers have been added to each wheel for better oscillation control.

Boosting the RS3 Sportback’s stopping power are 370mm diameter front brake discs; 25mm larger than the S3. 

To appeal to the boy racer who lurks inside all of us, the RS3 Sportback has a digital lap timer to record the success of your weekend trackday adventures.

A range of options will be available, including bucket seats, roof rails with a matt aluminum finish and styling packages in black or matt aluminum.

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