Power and glory

De­liv­er­ies of the new RS3 start later this month. Jack Evans had a pre­view

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Kent Motors -

The Audi RS3 is a key pil­lar in the hot hatch seg­ment, hav­ing set the trend for some time now. It’s just been up­dated, bring­ing even more power – now close to 400bhp – as well as a quicker 0-60mph time of 3.9 sec­onds. That puts it close to su­per­car ter­ri­tory. There are LED lights at the front and rear, with dy­namic rear in­di­ca­tors that strobe when ac­ti­vated. The front grille is framed with an alu­mini­um­look sur­round, while dual ex­hausts give some in­di­ca­tion of the per­for­mance. How­ever, the rel­a­tively un­der­stated looks is one of its most ap­peal­ing traits. The large, 2.5-litre tur­bocharged petrol en­gine – the only five-cylin­der in the seg­ment – has been re­vised, mean­ing faster ac­cel­er­a­tion and bet­ter econ­omy. It is 26kg lighter but the power is still sent to all four wheels via the leg­endary Qu­at­tro sys­tem. It’s im­pres­sively quick, but that was to be ex­pected con­sid­er­ing its close to 400bhp power out­put. The ride, es­pe­cially on stan­dard steel springs, is very firm. It can make the RS3 feel un­set­tled, though in­ter­est­ingly the quicker you go the bet­ter it gets. It’s a very well-judged car. It’s also avail­able as a sa­loon, which looks sleeker still – though with­out the prac­ti­cal­ity lev­els of the five-door hatch. The in­te­rior ex­hibits typ­i­cal Audi build qual­ity and fi­tand-fin­ish. You now get the ex­cel­lent vir­tual cock­pit dis­play. The five-door hatch ben­e­fits from 280 litres of seats-up boot space, which can be ex­tended to 1,120 litres by low­er­ing the rear seats. There’s a good de­gree of stan­dard equip­ment on of­fer. You get LED head­lights and rear lights, as well as the vir­tual cock­pit dis­play. Sports seats are in­cluded , too, along with RS’s be­spoke brak­ing sys­tem and a full satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

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