Audi’s R8 births the new RS3 and you can’t look away, as much as you’d like to

Audi doesn’t shy away from using dramatic videos to introduce new models. For example, the R8 V10 Plus promo that showcases the howl of its Lamborghini-derived 5.2-liter V10 makes gathering air for your next breath quite difficult.

So when it comes to introducing the redesigned RS3 Sportback, Audi returns to the snarl of the R8, but this time as the birth … parent … thing going into labor while it welcomes its precious little RS3 gift into the world. The whole experience is a mixture of Transformers and nature’s oddity in one fascinating clip.

Though we already know how the latest generation RS3 looks, as the fiery red Sportback emerges, it truly feels like you’re looking at it with new eyes. Heck, Audi even finds a way to show the “umbilical cord” being cut — now that’s commitment to a metaphor.

While proportionally the new RS3 Sportback shares little in common with the halo Audi R8, its performance has inched closer to its ancestor. It may have half the cylinders of the R8 V10, but the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder makes 367 horsepower — up 27 from the previous generation — and 343 pound-feet of torque. That power is funneled to all four wheels via Audi’s infamous quattro all-wheel drive system, which is connected to a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. Sorry manual transmission fans, there won’t be a three-pedal setup this time around.

Thanks in part to its sophisticated all-wheel drive system, the 2016 RS3 Sportback gets to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds on the way to its electronically-limited 155 mph top speed. Toss Audi a bit more cash and you can raise the governor to 174 mph. See what I mean about the invasion of the R8’s performance territory?

Besides the ferocious power, the RS3 Sportback gains other significant hardware upgrades like carbon ceramic front brakes and a brake-based torque vectoring system for better cornering.

Its pumped-up exterior completes the look and makes this particular American wish the hatchback would come stateside. Alas, we’ll have to make do with a sedan version when it goes on sale sometime next year. But no complaining, or Audi will take away our toys.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Computing

Wi-Fi helps connect all of our devices at high-speed, but what exactly is it?

What is Wi-Fi? It's a technology we all use everyday to connect all of our portable devices, but understanding how it works and how far it's come from its humble beginnings is another thing entirely.
Outdoors

The Naseka electric snowmobile is built for kids, but you’ll likely want one too

The Naseka electric snowmobile is a vehicle built for kids, allowing them to have a safe and efficient ride on snow, with the ability to trade out the ski for a wheel for use in the summer too.
Cars

BMW’s X3 M and X4 M pack 503 horsepower in nontraditional form

BMW is starting even further from its heritage with the 2020 X3 M and X4 M performance crossovers. But with up to 503 horsepower available in each vehicle, does that really matter?
Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Cars

Volkswagen’s hot-rodded T-Roc R is ready to shred its tires to confetti

Volkswagen released a teaser sketch to preview a hot-rodded SUV named T-Roc R. Insiders suggest it will be closely related to the mighty Golf R, meaning it will pack a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at about 300…
Cars

Honda’s Urban EV is shaping up to be a high-tech, high-style electric city car

Honda will travel to the 2019 Geneva Auto Show to unveil a close-to-production prototype that previews an adorable, city-friendly electric car. The Urban EV will offer about 155 miles of range, and its interior is a tech lover's dream come…
Cars

Audi’s Geneva-bound Q4 E-Tron concept will give us a glimpse of the future

Audi has released a trio of teaser sketches to preview the Q4 E-Tron concept. Scheduled to make its debut at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show, the design study takes the form of an electric SUV with a muscular design and a tech-filled interior.
Cars

Tesla’s Dog Mode lets good Samaritans know that Fido’s A-OK

Tesla's latest over-the-air software update adds two features called Sentry Mode and Dog Mode. Sentry Mode records footage and alerts the owner if someone breaks in, while Dog Mode runs the A/C so owners can safely keep their dogs in their…
Cars

Rock out in the carpool lane with Singing Machine’s Carpool Karaoke microphone

Carpool Karaoke fans can count down the days till summer. That's when Singing Machine's Carpool Karaoke microphone will be available. Connect the Carpool Karaoke Mic to your car radio to make your next road trip a mobile karaoke party.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Emerging Tech

With CabinSense, cars will soon know who’s riding in them and respond accordingly

What if your car could know who's riding in it and customize the entertainment and safety options accordingly? That’s what's promised by the new CabinSense in-car Occupancy Monitoring System.
Outdoors

General Motors cycles into a new market with its first-ever ebikes

When General Motors launched a public campaign last year to name its new ebike brand, many wondered if Bikey McBikeface might win out. But it didn't. Instead, it's called Arīv, and the two bikes are up for pre-order this week.
Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.