Audi's RS ranges of vehicles are renowned for their exclusivity, power, handling, looks and driveability. All RS models come as standard with Audi's famous Quattro all wheel drive system. Until recently Audi employed the philosophy of only producing one RS model at a time, meaning there was only ever one new RS model to choose from. This has now changed and Audi are currently simultaneously producing the RS4, RS5, TTRS and soon to be released RS3.
The RS3 Sportback is due to hit dealerships such as Carlisle Audi in the spring of 2011. The RS3 takes the engine from the TTRS so has a 2.5 litre TFSI turbocharged power plant producing 340bhp; it can do 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and is electronically restricted to a top speed of 155 mph. The five cylinder engine is mated to a seven speed S tronic gearbox which helps the RS3 attain 31 miles to the gallon, very impressive for a high performance vehicle.
The kerb weight of the new Audi RS 3 is kept down to 1,575kg, CO2 output is only to 212g/km and, the power-to-weight ratio is an impressive 216PS per tonne. The efficiency of the Audi RS 3 Sportback is due to a delivery-on-demand oil pump and a regenerative system that recovers energy as the car decelerates. The RS3 also employs some weight-saving measures including the use of strong but light vermicular graphite for the engine block and carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the front wings.
The exterior styling of the RS3 helps separate it from the normal A3, it has a deeper front apron that incorporates enlarged air intakes, an anthracite coloured single-frame grille with diamond-patterned styling and xenon plus headlamps. It comes as standard with 19 inch alloy wheels, which sit in flared light weight arches. A high-gloss black diffuser insert and two elliptical exhaust tailpipes on the left finish off the styling at the rear.
We'll have to wait a few months yet for full test drive reports, no doubt the RS3 will impress and live up to the RS name.