Now isn’t this a pleasant way to welcome a Friday? Here is Audi’s all-new RS 3 Sportback hot hatch, revealed in Europe this week ahead of a mid-2015 launch.
As expected - and hoped - the new RS 3 is again powered by a five-cylinder turbocharged engine, its 2.5 litre heart churning out a hefty 270kW and 465Nm.
That makes the new RS 3 a fine-line 5kW and 15Nm meaner than its key rival the turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder Mercedes-AMG A 45.
And, with a claimed 4.3 second 0-100km/h time, the Audi is a tight 0.3 seconds quicker.
This new RS 3 arrives just over four years on from the debut of its impressive predecessor, which was driven by an earlier version of the same 2.5 litre engine that produced 250kW and 450Nm.
But, unlike that hero, this new RS 3 is coming to Australia.
Speaking with TMR today, Audi Australia’s Shaun Cleary confirmed a late 2015 launch for our market. Other details, such as pricing and specification, will be revealed closer to launch.
What’s It Got?
Apart from the newly revised 2.5 litre five-cylinder turbocharged fan-favourite engine, the new RS 3 is packing a host of other performance goodies.
Underneath it all is the Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform - just as the regular A3 has - and its high-strength steel and aluminium bonnet all contribute to the new model’s 55kg weight saving, now down to 1520kg.
Sending power to the wheels is a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, enhanced and tuned specifically for a performance application.
There’s auto and manual shifting modes, and when set to Dynamic mode, the shifter delivers automatic double-clutching.
All of this is set to a modified electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch all-wheel-drive setup, now 1.4kg lighter and mounted inside the rear axle.
Audi says motivation is continuously varied across both axles, with between 50 and 100 percent of power sent to the rear as needed.
Electronically-controlled torque vectoring is also featured, braking individual wheels for greater composure through spirited cornering.
A two-stage exhaust is packed into the new RS 3, utilising flaps to control flow back of the muffler and boosting the sonic delights.
Brakes are 370mm ventilated steel discs and eight-piston callipers at the front and 310mm discs with single-piston grabbers at the rear, although buyers will also have the option of 370mm carbo-ceramic front discs.
Suspension is by a heavily revised version of the new S3’s setup, including MacPherson struts at the front and a multi-link deal at the rear.
The RS 3 sits lower, but it also gets aluminium pivot bearings at the front.
As its flared panels suggest, the RS 3’s track is 24mm wider at the front (1559mm) and 4mm wider at the rear (1515mm).
A magnetic ride system for adaptive damping will be offered as an option, packaged into the Drive Select system that offers Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual settings for throttle, steering and damping.
Big 19-inch wheels are standard, wrapped in 235/35 rubber at both ends - although wide rims with 255/30 front rubber can be optioned.
On the styling front, there is of course the usual haul of RS-specific tweaks, including unique bumpers and skirts.
Likewise, the cabin gets leather seats and an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and buyers can opt for 7kg lighter RS bucket seats.
Watch for Australian details on the new RS 3 to surface over the coming year.