The Audi RS3 will join Audi's sports car lineup as the entry-level RS model, behind the Audi RS6 and Audi RS4, and the Audi R8 of course. But sitting at the bottom doesn't mean this thing will be in any way bland or boring. Barking from the twin exhaust outlets at the rear of the car will be the sound of 2.5-litres worth of compressed, and turbocharged, harmonious five-cylinder ignition.
The TSFI 2.5-litre engine will output 250kW of power and 450Nm of torque, putting its nose face-to-face with the upcoming BMW 1 Series M Coupe. Unlike the BMW 1 Series M Coupe though, the Audi will feature an all-wheel drive system (Audi's 'Quattro') whereas the BMW makes do with a less-adhesive rear-wheel drive layout.
Reports say the Audi will manage the 0-100km/h sprint in around 4.6 seconds, 0.3 seconds in front of the BMW. Although power on the Audi is the same as the BMW M Coupe, torque is down by 50Nm (BMW will offer 500Nm) in comparison. Overall, it should offer excellent rivalry and competition to the market.
Other features include a spruced up interior including traditional Recaro bucket seats, flat-bottom leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, 310km/h speedo and equally enthusiastic dials and instrument cluster. The RS3 will also get a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, heavily revised body work and panel extensions, sports-oriented suspension and wheels. Needless to say - it should be an absolute cracker.
The Audi RS3 will go on sale half way through this year but we'll be sure to provide more information on the Australian-specification model prior to its release. Check out the video below in the meantime for some close-up shots and more details.