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Audi prices up potent RS 3 pair

Latest high-performance RS 3 saloon and hatchback models claimed to be the fastest-accelerating in their class

Audi has announced prices for the latest RS 3 performance models, which will be available in both Saloon and Sportback (hatchback) form.

The RS 3 Sportback will cost from £50,900 while the saloon will set you back an extra £1,000.

Both cars employ a five-cylinder 2.5-litre petrol engine – the unit, already nine times a winner of an International Engine of the Year award, has been further boosted for its latest application, now producing 400hp and 500Nm of torque.

Audi claims best-in-class acceleration and top speed figures for the RS 3, with a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds. While the standard versions of the car are electronically limited to a maximum speed of 155mph, the two top trim levels have the limiter removed to allow 174mph. An options package can further boost top speed to 180mph.

RS 3 models will be available in four trim levels dubbed RS 3, Carbon Black, Launch Edition and Vorsprung. Only 96 examples of the Launch Edition variant have been allocated for UK sale, at £6,000 more than the base model.

Audi RS 3 cockpit

Standard equipment on all cars includes 19-inch alloy wheels, heated front sport seats in leather with embossed logos, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, and Audi’s Virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch and 10.1-inch screens.

The RS 3 is also the first Audi fitted as standard with a new RS Torque splitter, replacing the rear axle differential and the previous multiple disc clutch on the rear axle – individual multiple disc clutches are now mounted on each driveshaft.

In corners the torque splitter will increase the drive to the outer rear wheel that is under heavier load. As a result the car will be less likely to understeer, producing sharper, more precise cornering.

As the RS 3 is a performance model likely to be used off the public road at track days, Audi has included a mode in the torque splitter that will send all torque to just one rear wheel, making the sport of ‘drifting’ much easier to undertake.

The driving dynamics electronics also include a race track-specific RS Performance driving mode alongside the selectable comfort, auto, dynamic, RS Individual, and efficiency modes.

First deliveries of the Audi RS 3 are expected in November.

Audi RS 3 Saloon fore
Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.