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Audi RS 3 Sportback

Audi's fearsome RS 3 Sportback just got a 400hp upgrade

Start saving your pennies, order books open in the summer.

AUDI’S MUSCLE-BOUND five-door hot hatch will make a welcome return at next month’s Geneva Motor Show - with new exterior and interior design elements and more power under its bonnet.

Let’s get to the good stuff first. The 2.5-litre TFSI in the RS 3 is the world’s most powerful production five-cylinder engine and power is up by 33hp from its predecessor to 400hp. Not only that but weight is down by 26kg too.

Furthermore, there is 480Nm of torque available across a broad plateau from just 1,700rpm to 5,850rpm, so you’ll rarely be caught off-boost.

It has quattro four-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. These combine to give some tasty performance figures – a 0-100km/h time of just 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 280km/h if you request the limiter to be removed.

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Fuel consumption is a claimed 8.3 litres/100km (34mpg) and Co2 emissions at 189g/km are pretty decent considering the power. This places it in tax Band E at €750 a year.

New exterior styling tweaks bring the car inline with the rest of the A3 family. The Singleframe grille with gloss black honeycomb mesh, large air inlets and angular sill trims are now complemented by a redesigned blade in the bumper which serves to make the car appear even more broad-shouldered. LED headlights with Audi lighting signature are standard and at the rear an elongated RS roof edge spoiler, a diffuser insert and large oval tailpipes further enhance the high-performance hatchback’s foursquare stance.

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It sits 25mm lower than a standard A3 Sportback and uses four-link rear suspension. It rides on 19-inch alloys with 310mm front brakes with optional carbon-ceramic discs available.

Inside, sport seats with RS seatback emblems in black fine Nappa leather are standard, there is a flat-bottomed RS sport leather multi-function steering wheel and a special RS screen in the instrument panel, which shifts the tachometer to the centre and displays on either side the readings for torque, G‑forces and tyre pressure.

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The new Audi RS 3 Sportback gets its world public debut in Switzerland on March 7th and will be available to order in the summer and will should see it on the roads by the end of the year.

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