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.
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.
|Model||0-100km/h||Top speed||Hockenheim GP
|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|
|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|
Keyword: New Audi RS3 – Where it stands against the high-performance competition