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2017 Audi RS3 Sportback: 395bhp of glorious hatchback stupidity

The Audi RS3 is back and more powerful than before. Here is everything you need to know, including the total horsepower and all the other important figures, ahead of its 2017 Geneva Motor Show unveiling.

If you want a really loud, really fast and really powerful hatchback and money is largely irrelevant, the Audi RS3 is a very loud alternative to the Mercedes A45 AMG. Now there is a new version and Audi has given us the lowdown ahead of its Geneva Motor Show unveiling.

Here is what’s new for the 2017 Audi RS3, including just how much more power has been crammed under the bonnet. Clue: Quite a lot.

1) No other hatchback is as powerful (for now)

The Audi RS3 has taken back its crown from Mercedes as the maker of the most powerful production hatchback money can buy. The 2.5-litre TFSI now generates 395bhp (400PS), an increase of 32.5bhp on its predecessor and 19bhp more than the A45. Torque is up 11lb/ft to a healthy 354lb/ft and every last bit of it can be had from 1,700rpm so it is not that much less torque-happy than the BMW M140i.

2) …Or as fast from 0-62mph

Apply full pressure to the German-built accelerator pedal and 0-62mph should happen in just 4.1 seconds, two-tenths faster than the old RS3 Sportback. As for stopping, that will be no issue with gigantic 310mm discs at the front. Or even more powerful carbon ceramics if you have the extra cash.

3) It is only slightly less good on fuel (allegedly)

By installing an aluminium crankcase, Audi has decreased the weight of the 2017 RS3 Sportback by 26kg and in turn has helped keep it less thirsty. The 34mpg claimed fuel economy figure is only 0.9mpg down on the old car and CO2 comes in at the same 189g/km. Bearing in mind the 2017 April VED changes, it will be initially more pricey to tax, especially if a few optional extras take it above the £40,000 threshold.

4) The design has been tweaked (a bit)

Arch-filling 19-inch alloys, aggressively wide flared arches, LED headlights and a revised blade in the bumper warn other road users this is no ordinary Audi A3. It also sits 25mm closer to the floor, has an RS roof spoiler and, to ensure everyone can hear you from miles away, that lovely RS exhaust system with two sizable oval pipes.

5) Audi Smartphone is now standard (yay)

To make life more comfortable, Audi Smartphone is now a standard fixture, which means you can make use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also get an LTE module for much faster data speeds or make use of the WiFi hotspot that comes with the navigation system so everyone can save using their own data.

6) The quattro system is as clever

Helping keep all that horsepower in check is quattro all-wheel drive, which is able to vary how much torque is sent to rear axle depending on the situation. The driver can also influence the car’s characteristics by selecting one of multiple driving modes, including the steering response, aggressiveness of the seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic and how much noise it makes.

7) You can do away with analogue dials

Like in the Audi R8, Audi is offering the option of its digital cockpit, which means digital dials behind the steering wheel instead of old-fashioned dials. Not only is it clearer and capable of helping with navigation directions, a special RS display lets you check torque, g-forces and the exact rpm level to change gear so you need never bounce off the limiter like an amateur.

8) The optional extras are plentiful

Bang & Olufsen system with 705 watts of power? Check. Traffic jam assist for keeping you a safe distance from the car in front without any input from you? Check. Cross traffic assist to stop you from reversing into something? Check. It can even stop the car for you in an emergency in case you are too slow to react.

10) Orders open soon(-ish)

The new Audi RS 3 will be available in Sportback and Saloon flavours, both of which will be on display at the Geneva Motor Show in March and then available to order in the summer of 2017. Expect a UK price and our full review nearer the time.

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