Audi hots up with

new RS 3

Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2017, front
Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2017, side
Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2017, rear
Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2017, interior
Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2017, rear seats
Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2017, engine
Audi RS 3 Sportback, 2017, boot
Audi RS 3 saloon, 2017, front
Audi RS 3 saloon, 2017, side
Audi RS 3 saloon, 2017, rear
Audi RS 3 saloon, 2017, interior
Audi RS 3 saloon, 2017, rear seats

AUDI Sport, the high performance subsidiary of the German car maker, is about to release new versions of the RS 3 in Sportback and saloon body styles fitted with 400bhp engines - a new standard in the compact car segment.

Both are now available to order, the Sportback priced from £44,300 and the saloon from £45,250.

Under the bonnet is the most powerful five-cylinder engine to be used in a series production Audi, providing a 0-62mph acceleration time of 4.1 seconds and a possible 174mph top speed.

Power comes from a new, lighter 2.5-litre turbo TFSI engine which serves up 480 Nm of torque alongside its 400bhp output, and makes all of it available at between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm.

Gearing is via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission which channels the power to the car's quattro permanent all-wheel drive system.

Compared to the regular Audi A3, the front track of the new RS 3 models is wider by 20 millimetres and the front wheel arches are flared giving it a wider stance. They also come with 19-inch designer alloy wheels.

Other features special to the RS models include a honeycomb single frame grille with matt aluminium surround and deep side skirts enhancing the profile and the rear spoilers.

Inside, the RS 3 has sport seats covered in black Nappa leather and they come with a leather and Alcantara flat-bottomed RS steering wheel.

Audi's virtual cockpit instrument display, which houses a 12.3-inch high resolution screen showing navigation and other driving aids as well as conventional information, is a standard feature.

Options for the new RS 3 include the Audi phone box which charges smartphones, plus a Bang and Olufsen sound system producing 705 Watts of power via 14 speakers.

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