Wider front and rear flared wheel arches, check. Massive 19-inch low-profile alloy wheels, check. Four-pistion brake callipers that yield massive stopping power... check... mate. Well no, actually it's a brief overview of the latest extremist version of the latest high performance RS3 Saloon and Sportback models. The latest iteration of the Audi RS 3 is about to touch down in the UK in familiar five-door Sportback form but also now as full Saloon trim. Both versions are now available to order, the Sportback priced from £44,300 OTR and the Saloon from £45,250 OTR. The most powerful five-cylinder engine ever to empower a series production Audi allows for a 0-62mph time of just 4.1 seconds and 174mph top speed.
Audi has shaved 26 kilograms of weight off 2.5 TFSI which churns out 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) of torque and 400PS (395bhp)which is made available at between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm. The tone of the five-cylinder unit can be modified at the touch of a button via the standard Audi drive select system with its Comfort, Dynamic, Auto and Individual modes.
A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission channels the power of the 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, and the driver can adjust the shift points, and the proportion of torque directed rearwards, through Audi drive select. It also alters the operating characteristics of the progressive steering, engine management and adjustable exhaust flaps.
A sophisticated MacPherson strut front and four-link rear suspension, wheel-selective torque control and RS-specific Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC) logic with higher thresholds make this generation more rewarding to drive say, Audi.
LED headlights with daytime running light signature are standard and can be upgraded to even more sophisticated matrix LED units as an option. LEDs are also at the heart of the new Audi Beam feature, which is standard. On entry to or exit from, the RS 3 it projects the Audi Sport insignia onto the ground as another reminder of the car’s very special pedigree.
On the inside, the heated, RS-embossed and contrast-stitched front sport seats finished in black Fine Nappa leather and the leather and Alcantara flat-bottomed RS sport steering wheel immediately set the tone, and this is carried through into details such as the stainless steel pedals, titanium grey ‘optic 3D design’ inlays and extensive aluminium trim elements.
Front Super Sport Seats also upholstered in Fine Nappa leather are available as an optional extra. The optional RS Design Pack adds contrasting red stitching for the armrests, black Alcantara trimming with red stitching for the knee pads flanking the centre console, red accents in the air vents and red edging for the seatbelts, complemented by black floor mats with red contrast stitching and RS insignias.
Standard equipment includes the Audi Virtual Cockpit and Audi connect. The Audi Smartphone Interface, another standard feature, enables selected apps to be displayed when an Android or iOS smartphone is connected.
Technology-highlights include options for the new RS 3 duo include the Audi phone box, which inductively charges smartphones according to the Qi standard and connects it directly to the car’s aerial for optimal reception quality, and the Bang & Olufsen Sound System producing a mighty 705 watts of power via 14 speakers.