Five doors, five cylinders, and quattro: Audi’s RS 3 Sportback adds up to one hot hatch

Our friends across the pond have it real good when it comes to sporty hatchbacks. Today, we just got another reason to be envious with the announcement of the new Audi RS 3 Sportback, the brand’s latest performance-paked compact vehicle.

The top-tier version of the A3 gets a larger, 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful five-cylinder Audi has ever made. This power is routed through the dual-clutch seven-speed S tronic transmission, which drivers can flip through manually with paddle shifters, or left alone to pick the best gear. A launch control system is included to optimize sprints off the line, letting drivers go from 0 to 60 in 4.3 seconds.


It wouldn’t be an Audi without Quattro all-wheel drive, and with the help of custom software and sensors, the torque can go from being split 50/50 between the front and back axles, or it can be fully sent to the rear, depending on coefficient of friction and driving style. Torque vectoring further improves the sporty dynamics of the RS 3 by lightly breaking the wheels on the inside of a turn, helping to curve the car around corners.


The chassis rides on an McPherson strut suspension on the front, and a four-link construction on the real axle made up of high-strength steel rods. It sits an inch lower than the A3 Sportback, and the adaptive magnetic ride active damper system can be adjusted when drivers select their preferred drive modes. All this is  bolted on 19-inch wheels which either sport a matte titanium look or a high-gloss anthracite black finish. Drivers can even take the sportiness even further by opting for carbon fiber-ceramic brake discs on the front axle.

Of course, the RS 3 has to look like it goes as fast as it claims, and the hot hatch does the trick with a more pronounced front bumper, high gloss black honeycomb grille, and a rear diffuser. The interior screams performance, too, with an alcantara-covered, flat bottom steering wheel, boost pressure indicator, and lap timer.

Audi hasn’t said if the 2015 RS 3 is heading to U.S. roads anytime soon, but we can keep our hopes up that, after the Sportback makes it to European dealer lots in the summer, the German automaker will bend to our intense green-eyed stares of jealousy.

Product Review

If you don't know about Genesis yet, the G70 is going to change that

The 2019 Genesis G70 is Korea’s first attempt to take on the vaunted German trio of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Competition doesn’t come much tougher than that.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Nissan IMs concept teases a future long-range, autonomous electric car

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Nissan IMs is an electric car with a 380-mile range, autonomous-driving capability, and a backseat designed for being chauffeured. Too bad it's just a concept car.

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.