What is it?
Audi’s fire-breathing hot hatch, although its mega performance comes with a very serious price-tag attached. Audi’s RS models tend to appear late in the model cycle, and the RS3 is definitely a last hurrah for the current-shape A3, which is being replaced next year.
What’s it like?
In a word, fast. In two words, seriously fast. You don’t have to rewind too far to find a time when this sort of power output was reserved for no-question supercars, and the five-pot engine – which is happy to be revved hard despite its forced induction – delivers big.
Audi claims a 4.6 second 0-62mph time and an electronically limited 155mph top speed. But perhaps more telling is the company’s claim it takes the RS3 just 17.5-seconds to get from rest to 125mph – most rivals would struggle to get to 100mph in the same timeframe. And on the road those claims, backed by the seamless power delivery of the DSG gearbox, feel entirely plausible.
Of course, a good hot hatch has always been about more than raw performance, and Audi’s Quattro GMBH Skunkworks – which engineers all the company’s RS models - has attempted to tame the prodigious power output with an appropriately comprehensive underbody makeover.