The new Audi RS3 Sportback will go on sale in the UK later this month, keeping the £39,950 price tag of its predecessor.
The performance hatch, which has made its global debut at the Geneva motor show, is powered by a reworked 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine producing 362bhp, and offers a supercar-challenging 0-62mph time of 4.3sec. First deliveries of the new model are planned for this summer.
The four-wheel-drive Ingolstadt mega-hatch has been extensively re-engineered for 2015 in a bid to dethrone the rapid Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG as class champion.
Among the second-generation RS3 Sportback’s more noteworthy developments is a new MQB platform structure that makes extensive use of hot-formed high-strength steel and a body shell incorporating an aluminium bonnet – a combination which sees it shed some 55kg over the model it replaces.
The new car will initially be available in a five-door hatchback body style, although Audi sources hint that a saloon version of the new RS3 is being readied as a riposte to the CLA45 AMG.
The new go-faster Audi is distinguished from its lesser A3 siblings by its aggressive front-end styling. Included is a uniquely shaped grille featuring a matt aluminium-look frame and high-gloss honeycomb insert, as well as a prominent bumper with large air ducts and decorative matt aluminium-look blades. LED headlights, which will be a standard feature on UK cars, complete the look.
Further back, there are widened front fenders, matt aluminium-look door mirror housings and widened sills beneath the doors. The rear receives a uniquely shaped spoiler above the tailgate, a more pronounced bumper with integrated diffuser along with more matt aluminium decorative elements and a pair of large oval tailpipes.