new audi rs3 – where it stands against the high-performance competition

The new Audi RS3 has made landfall in South Africa with a powerful 2.5-litre engine and a first-for-the-brand torque splitter.

Available in both Sportback and Sedan body styles, the halo model of the A3 series boasts impressive stats that make the high-performance competition nervous.

The five-cylinder Audis generate 294kW and 500Nm, delivering this grunt to both axles via a seven-speed, dual-clutch gearbox making for a hasty 3.8 seconds to get from 0 to 100km/h.

Pedal to the metal the sporty vehicles continue to a limited top speed of 250km/h, and for the more daring customers it can further be de-restricted to 290km/h.

The new RS3 also enjoys better handling prowess than the generation it is replacing, thanks to the RS torque splitter that distributes torque fully variably between the rear wheels instead of at a fixed ratio.

When turning left, the splitter sends more torque to the right outer wheel, and when turning right, torque goes to the left outer wheel. Thanks to this, the cars have a significantly reduced tendency to understeer, said Audi.

What this component additionally brings is a new RS Torque Rear button, allowing for a dedicated drifting mode for the first time.

An RS Sports exhaust system with a scintillating sound, a model-specific aggressive design, and optional Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tyres then cap off the new RS3 package.

High-performance competition

The new Audi RS3 range starts at a not-insignificant R1,215,000 for the Sportback variant, going up to R1,245,000 for the four-door Sedan.

This is how they compare to similar athletic vehicles that are also available to South African customers.

Lap times sourced from FastestLaps.com.


Hot hatchbacks

Model 0-100km/h Top speed Hockenheim GP
lap time
Price
Audi RS3 Sportback 3.8 seconds 250km/h 1m 57.30s R1,215,000
BMW M135i 4.8 seconds 250km/h 2m 04.90s R910,537
Honda Civic Type R 5.8 seconds 272km/h 2m 02.80s R839,000
Hyundai i30N 5.4 seconds 250km/h 2m 03.50s R749,900
Mercedes-AMG A45 S 3.9 seconds 270km/h 1m 55.70s R1,300,943
Toyota GR Yaris Rally 5.5 seconds 230km/h 2m 03.50s R761,200

new audi rs3 – where it stands against the high-performance competition


Sporty sedans

Model 0-100km/h Top speed Hockenheim GP lap time Price
Audi RS3 Sedan 3.8 seconds 250km/h 1m 57.30s R1,245,000
BMW M240i 4.3 seconds 250km/h 1m 60.00s R1,063,662
Mercedes-AMG CLA45 S 4.0 seconds 270km/h 1m 56.80s R1,426,637
Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 seconds 288km/h 1m 56.70s R1,530,000
Toyota GR Supra 4.3 seconds 250km/h 2m 03.00s R1,250,100

new audi rs3 – where it stands against the high-performance competition


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