What is it?
Sister car to the mechanically identical RS3 Saloon in an extended line-up of models from Audi Sport, the much anticipated updated RS3 superhatch has received a number of key mid-life upgrades that are claimed to both enhance its dynamic prowess and, more crucially, make it more entertaining to drive.
The big news with the newly reworked four-wheel-drive Mercedes-AMG A45 4Matic rival revolves around its turbocharged of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder direct-injection petrol engine, which has been thoroughly re-engineered, giving it more power and reducing its weight by 26kg, therefore improving the RS3's power-to-weight ratio and weight distribution.
Its the same transversely-mounted engine applied in the second-generation TT RS in 2016, so it's not entirely new. Changes cited by Audi Sport development boss, Stephen Riel, include the adoption of an aluminium crankcase in place of the old iron one. Plus, a new dual injection process and Audi’s patented valve-lift system in a combination claimed to increase combustion efficiency as well as a revised exhaust system with a larger volume muffler and adjustable flaps for an even more determined exhaust note.
With a larger-volume turbocharger providing a relatively low 1.35bar of boost pressure, the new five-cylinder kicks out an extra 32bhp at 394bhp between 5850 and 7000rpm. Torque is also up, but only marginally, rising from a previous 343 to 354lb ft on a 225bhp wider range of revs between 1700 and 5850rpm.