Single out the power upgrade, the software revisions or the lighter body and they seem modest enough in the grand scheme of things. But to drive in the real world, the Audi RS3 is anything but.
The previous model, which could be described as rapid even now, posted several near-5.0sec 0-60mph times in its two-way runs at MIRA before the Audi finally recorded a 4.5sec two-way average. Not so the new car.
Our V-Box recorded one run at 4.0sec dead. When you consider that was achieved with the ballast of a second 100kg road tester on board and a full tank of fuel, the possibility of a one-up, launch-controlled 0-60mph time starting with a ‘3’ isn’t remote at all. All this makes Audi Sport's desire to further eek out an additional 32bhp from the same unit is astonishing, as will the figures the RS3 Saloon will no doubt post.
And that’s just the RS3 getting started. If the difference between it and the Mercedes-AMG A45 looks negligible up to 60mph, by 100mph the Audi is a full second ahead.
The previous RS3 never made it to 150mph within a standing mile, but this one hits it nearly 2.5sec quicker than the original A45 managed. From 30-70mph, the car on test took nearly a second out of its rival. And this, remember, is against a car that sports the most powerful 2.0-litre production engine yet built.