We've seen the superfast, redesigned Audi RS3 Sportback up close, and it doesn't disappoint.
While people are eagerly waiting for the top-spec Audi RS3 Saloon to arrive, the carmaker was quietly working away on something special that they could reveal at the Geneva Motor Show – we now know that project was the Audi RS3 Sportback. It comes with a punch at 394bhp (400PS) and, thanks to a 2.5-litre five-cylinder TFSI engine, it can reach 0-62mph in just 4.1 seconds. Just like it’s Saloon sibling, this model will be controlled by a seven-speed, dual-clutch, S-Tronic transmission with Quattro technology.
The 2017 RS3 Sportback also comes with Virtual Cockpit for the first time along with a redesigned steering wheel to accommodate the controls. The dash has a new style as well, with the infotainment system appearing from the centre console when the engine is turned on.
Audi are understandably pleased that the Sportback is joining the Saloon at the top of the A3 range, and they’re touting the fact that the engine in this car is the world’s most powerful production five-cylinder engine.
The car comes with 19″ alloys as standard, and you can add the optional carbon-fibre brake discs if you want your car to stand out even more than it already does. The front fascia has been updated to fit in with the rest of the A3 range, but the aggressive, sporty styling identifies it as the top of the pack. The design does look striking, not only from up close, but also from a distance – we could pinpoint this model from across the hall at Geneva Motor Show – so the outstanding comfort, extreme power and everyday practicality of the Sportback have been packaged in a stunning new body.
Audi promises that the new car has a distinctive sound that you’ll be able to identify over other cars on the road, but – understandably – they wouldn’t let us put the pedal to the metal with the engine running while we were at the event even though some beautiful purrs could be heard from other stands.
Impressive performance credentials, sophisticated and sporty styling, and top-of-the-range in-car technology that is rounded off with the Audi Virtual Cockpit. Naturally, the carmaker has kitted out the display with RS styling that complements the RS emblem on your steering wheel. It even has a lap timer if you fancy speeding it around a local track. The boost pressure indicator will also give you a truly sporty driving experience as you overtake pretty much anyone you want.
The extra technology and power shows that Audi can still pump excitement through the A3 range.
With a car this powerful, it’s probably best that RS sport suspension and the RS braking system is included as standard. We wouldn’t settle for any less. Although the standard front sport seats come in black Nappa leather, Audi are eager to show off the white leather seat options in their promotional images and on the show floor – we feel this will be a popular choice for those looking to order the 2017 Audi RS3 Sportback, however there is a black leather option with red stitching that is definitely eye-catching.
Lower suspension, that huge black honeycomb grille, and the redesigned bumpers all give the RS3 Sportback a welcome polish. With the extra technology and power proving that Audi can still pump excitement through the refreshed A3 range.
There's no word on when this model will be available to order, but with the RS3 Saloon expected mid-year, it's probable that this model will be accepting orders around September. We'll keep you updated.