Wednesday 24 November 2010

New Car: 2011 Audi RS3

Audi has taken the wraps off what will be the UK’s most powerful production hot-hatch, the RS3.

The RS3 will be powered by a 5-cylinder, 2.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine, developing 335bhp (340PS) and 450Nm (332lb-ft) of torque from a diesel-like 1,600rpm. For those who are seeking driving engagement will be disappointed, since the RS3 is only available with a 7 speed S-tronic dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission, although the RS3 will be fitted with a Quattro 4WD system.

While the RS3 Sportback has no direct rivals, BMW’s 350bhp 1 Series M Coupé is the closest competitor in terms of image. BMW is signifying a £40k price tag for the M Coupé, while the RS3 starts at £39,900. Audi is staying tight-lipped on whether a 3dr is coming.

At 1,575kg, the RS3 is 60kg heavier than the S3. The top speed is electronically-limited to 155mph and fuel economy is a very respectable 31mpg (9.1l/100km) combined, with CO2 emissions of 212g/km. The RS3 can reach 62mph from 0 in 4.6 seconds.

A new sport mode is added to the stability control programme, which Audi says can also be switched off.

The equipment list will be long; Nappa leather interior w/silver stitching, rear parking sensors, climate control, ESP, x6 airbags, xenon headlights w/LED day-time running lights, 19” alloy wheels, DVD based satellite navigation system w/MMI (Multi Media Interface), rear spoiler, flat-bottomed 3-spoke leather steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-view mirror w/rain sensor and silver-matte door mirrors. Order books open next month with first customer deliveries in April 2011.

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