Blistering New Audi RS 3 Leaves the Competition Standing

 Published 9th August 2017
General Guides  New Launches 

AUDI has only gone and done it again.

Don’t worry though. The thing Audi has done is take a regular car, in this case the A3, and give it massive amounts of power. The end result is likely to be rather good. According to Audi the new RS 3 is the first car in the compact car segment to break the 400PS barrier. To put that number into some kind of context that makes sense in the UK’s strange mix of imperial and metric measurement, that’s 395bhp.

That’s a lot. When it comes to the hyper hatch segment - the term hot hatch is no longer sufficient for some examples - the current darlings of the motoring world are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS. The new Audi RS 3 doesn’t even bother spitting out the bones. It packs 50bhp more than the Focus and a whopping 80bhp more than the Civic.

The Audi also comes out on top in terms of practicality because, unlike the aforementioned competition, the new RS 3 is available as either a five-door sportback or a four-door saloon.

2017 Audi RS3 Sportback

The five-door version of the A3 range has been around for quite some time in the familiar Sportback guise. The saloon version promises much of the same in a car that looks remarkably like the A4 but is ever so slightly smaller.

Regardless of which particular shape takes your fancy, if you are in the market for a massively powerful and practical car that you can use on a daily basis this could be the option you’ve been waiting for.

The RS 3 is noticeably wider than the standard car with flared wheel arches and 19-inch wheels. The RS-specific honeycomb grille, side skirts, and rear spoiler add to the sense of power.

As you would expect from Audi the interior is immaculate too. Leather sports seats, RS sports steering wheel, and stainless steel pedals add to the performance feel. You also get the exceptional Virtual Cockpit and Audi connect with Apple and Android connectivity as standard.

2017 Audi RS3 Sportback

Both Saloon and Sportback versions utilise the same five-cylinder, lightweight aluminium engine and both are fitted with Quattro all-wheel-drive as standard. The 2.5-litre TFSI petrol engine powers the RS 3 to 60mph in just four seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. If it seems a shame to fit a leash to the RS 3 Audi will gladly remove the limiter and increase this figure to a massive 174mph.

Hopefully it goes without saying that actually doing 174mph in the UK is likely to land you in serious trouble with the local constabulary. And rightly so. That being said it’s quite an impressive boast and should you find yourself on a deserted stretch of unrestricted Autobahn at some stage…..well, you get the idea.

If you do opt for the increased top speed there are also a few upgrades that offer what Audi describe as “the most intense RS experience”? The RS upgrades for the exhaust and suspension, and the carbon ceramic brake package all make a significant difference to the performance and handling of the RS 3.

Despite the hugely impressive performance figures the new Audi RS 3 does manage to retain a little bit of the frugality necessary for daily use. Audi insists that the new engine is not only powerful but economical too, and figures of 34mpg and 188g/km seem to support that position.

With prices starting from around £45k the new RS 3 certainly isn’t cheap, although in fairness to Audi that kind of performance would usually cost a fair bit more.

Which is where leasing an Audi RS 3 really begins to make sense. Powerful, stylish, well-built, and available from around £375 per month, the new RS 3 is potentially one of the best options for a practical high-performance car currently available in the UK.

We have some great personal and business contract hire rates for the new 2017 Audi RS3 Sportback. You can view them on our website here: Audi RS3 Sportback offers.

  • Five-cylinder 2.5-litre TFSI engine produces 400PS and 480Nm of torque
  • Available in Saloon and Sportback variants
  • 0-60mph in around four seconds, top speed up to 174mph
  • Available to order now - Saloon from £44,300, Sportback from £45,250

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