A sub-12 second sprint time on the quarter-mile in a hot hatch… How fast has Audi really made the new RS3? APEX contributor Mat Watson is here to tell us exactly how fast and exciting the baby RS is.

Words: Mat Watson Instagram: matwatsoncars

There has only ever been one reason to buy an RS3 – its glorious 2.5-litre, turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The rest of the car has always been a bit meh. But things have changed. The new car has a torque-vectoring rear differential that enables you to drift. Yes, the AMG 45 S has had this for years, and you can even get this system as an option on the Volkswagen Golf R, but the RS3 feels the most natural to oversteer. This, plus a genuinely entertaining chassis, means the baby RS is impressive for much more than just its sonorous engine, though it’s still the star of the show.

While power output remains the same as before (294 kW), improved power delivery and 20 Nm more torque mean it’s even more potent. In fact, I timed it at 11.9 seconds over the quarter-mile. That’s 0.1 seconds quicker than what I’ve achieved in an RS4! Although its asking price in South Africa is steep, considering what the new RS3 offers in terms of performance, handling, tech and all-round usability, it’s actually well worth it!

Audi RS3 quattro S tronic

  • Price: R1 215 000
  • Engine: 2.5 L, 5-cyl, turbopetrol
  • Transmission: 7-spd dual-clutch
  • Power: 294 kW @5 600-7 000 r/min
  • Torque: 500 Nm @ 2 250-5 600 r/min
  • 0-100 km/h: 3.8 seconds
  • Top speed: 250 km/h*

*290 km/h with optional RS Dynamic package