AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

Geneva 2017: Audi RS3 gains a Sportback version

Geneva 2017: Audi RS3 gains a Sportback version image

Anton Andres / Newspress | March 09, 2017 07:39

Audi's smallest RS model packs over 400 PS

Last year, Audi unleashed the RS3 sedan to the market. For this year's Geneva Motor Show, it's now the turn of the A3 Sportback to get a significant performance upgrade. The German automaker has now given the C-Segment hatchback the RS treatment.

Prior to this reveal, the RS3 was exclusively paired to the sedan body. With a turbocharged 2.5-liter, inline-five engine, output is rated at 405 PS and 480 Nm of torque. It then shifts via a 7-speed S Tronic dual clutch transmission and lays its power down through Quattro all-wheel drive. These figures make the RS3 Sportback the most powerful hatchback in the Volkswagen Auto Group stable. Audi claims a 0 to 100 km/h time of 4.1 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.

Geneva 2017: Audi RS3 gains a Sportback version

Audi also beefed up the bodywork of their smallest RS model. The fender flares have been made wider to accommodate the upgraded suspension. A honeycomb grill separates it from standard A3 models, along with a matte silver surround with “Quattro” embossed at the bottom. It also gets more aggressive bumpers, restyled side skirts and a bigger integrated tailgate spoiler.

Speaking of its upgraded suspension, the whole car sits 25 millimeters lower than a standard A3 Sportback. The front axle has also been moved closer to the front by 20 mm, giving it a slightly longer wheelbase than non-sporting A3s. Stopping power is provided by large, cross-drilled brakes on all corners. It then rides on 19-inch wheels exclusive to this model.

The interior is largely carried over from the standard A3, save for more sporting touches. The RS3 gets an Alcantara-trimmed flat-bottom steering wheel, brushed aluminum inserts on the dash and unique pedals. It also gets sport seats with thicker bolstering and benefits from Audi's Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster.