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.
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.