BMW teams up with Italian styling gurus at Pininfarina for slick new coupe
Limited-run return for Audi RS3
The Audi RS3 Sportback is making a return to the UK due to customer demand, with a limited 250-unit production run.
The vehicle is available to order now, with the second wave of production marking a 50% reduction over the first 500-vehicle quota earmarked for the UK. Just enough to cater for the popular demand that’s led to its revival, it is hoped.
The RS3 is based on the outgoing Audi A3 chassis – albeit in Sportback estate guise only – which soon to be replaced by the new 2012 A3 in September this year.
The hottest version of Audi’s family hatch uses the same 340hp 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged motor as the original 500 vehicles, meaning an identical 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds, as well as the same electronically governed 155mph top speed. Efficiency remains at 31mpg combined with 212g/km CO2 emissions.
Like all Audi RS models, the RS3 uses the firm’s Quattro four-wheel drive system, and in this car, employs a standard-fit seven speed dual-clutch transmission.
The original smallest RS model’s natty 19-inch black alloys with red rim detailing are carried over for the newer vehicles, as are the lightened carbonfibre wings, enlarged track and Sport button to modify throttle response and exhaust note.
And the price for the reincarnated Audi RS3? You guessed it, the same £39,930 as the 2011 car.
At £9,935 more expensive than the recently released BMW M135i – although 0.3 seconds quicker to 62mph from rest – the Audi is considerably more expensive and a chunk less economical than the Bee-em’s 37.7mpg combined with 175g/km CO2.
That said, the first 500 RS3’s sold almost instantly, and with a 250-unit limited production run seeing the Audi return due to demand, the Ingolstadt firm shouldn’t have any trouble getting rid of the four-wheel drive, five-cylinder hatch.
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