The all-new 2016 Audi RS3 mega-hatch, which received confirmation of an Australian price of $78,900 plus on-road costs this week, is already the subject of 400 pre-orders even though it won’t go on-sale until October.
The huge early interest is emblematic of what Audi expects to be strong demand for its 270kW/465Nm five-pot hot hatch, a rival to the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG (which, in competitive German style, will get an even more potent 280kW engine from around December as part of an update).
The good news for Audi and its customers alike is that, unlike the A45 when it first launched, supply lines are expected to be strong, and waiting lists will thereby be kept to a minimum — largely reflective of Australia’s laudable status as a pilot market for Audi Sport, the new ‘face’ of quattro GmhH.
Audi Australian managing director Andrew Doyle is on record as saying the RS3 — to be the cheapest RS model, undercutting the $81,510 RS Q3 crossover and exceeding the 206kW S3 by a shade under $20K — will essentially double Audi’s RS sales locally in 2016, potentially making Australia a global top-five RS (Audi Sport) market.
You can read full information on the Audi RS3 here, though the basics are thus:
Driving the new hatch is a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged and direct-injected petrol engine, producing 270kW at 5550-6800rpm and 465Nm at 1625-5550rpm. Power goes to the electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch quattro all-wheel-drive system through a seven-speed dual-clutch S-tronic transmission exclusively, propelling the 1520kg Sportback to 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds.
Read our first drive review of the 2016 Audi RS3 from Italy here.