Road tests 25.1.2018 03:25 pm

ROAD TEST: Another very fast Audi RS 3

The most powerful series-production five-cylinder engine on the market.

With its high-tech suspension, a new five-cylinder engine with bestin-class performance and a sharper look, the all new Audi RS 3 Sportback is top of its class.

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RS-specific details in the interior and the unmatched sound of the 2.5 TFSI engine complete the emotional driving experience. Five-cylinder engines are a great tradition at Audi.

In the 1980s, they made a decisive contribution to furthering the success of the brand both in motor sports and on the road.

After a break of many years, they made a comeback in 2009 when the 2.5 TFSI was fitted in the Audi TT RS.

In 2011, the first generation of the RS 3 Sportback followed, in 2013 the RS Q3 and in 2015 the second edition of the RS 3 Sportback.

It is now joined by the new RS 3 Sportback.

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The Audi RS 3 Sportback has enjoyed a successful history in South Africa. The first generation redefined the segment, having been produced in limited numbers for global distribution, Audi South Africa managed to obtain and deliver 174 of those units in the local market.

It was followed by the second generation in 2015 and sold 265 units. Since 2010, the 2.5 TFSI has been voted “International Engine of the Year” in its class for seven consecutive years.

Now, Audi presents a new version of the successful power unit. The turbo engine which drives the new RS 3 Sportback is the most powerful series-production five-cylinder engine on the world market.

An output of 294 kW is an increase of 24 kW versus the previous model RS 3 Sportback.

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With the displacement of 2 480 cm3 remaining unchanged, its maximum torque of 480 Nm is available at engine speeds as low as 1 700 rpm and remains constant up to 5 850 rpm.

The five-cylinder engine thus catapults the RS3 Sportback from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.08 seconds, hits the quarter mile in 12.33 seconds, the 1km at 241km/h and electronically stops at 261 km/h truespeed, with 267 km/h showing on the speedo.

The new five-cylinder engine is 26kg lighter than its predecessor which is of considerable advantage to the RS models with regard to the axle load distribution and gross weight.

The curb Another very fast Audi RS 3 weight of the RS 3 Sportback is 1 475kg.

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Elaborate measures on the 2.5 TFSI reduce internal friction while at the same time increasing power output.

Its crankcase was changed from compacted graphite iron to aluminuim. The cylinder barrels are plasma-coated; the crankshaft main bearings are six millimetres smaller in diameter.

The crankshaft is hollow bored and is therefore 1 kg lighter, while the aluminuim pistons have integrated channels for oil cooling.

The seven-speed S tronic is standard, and the lower gears of the compact dual-clutch transmission are dynamically short while the seventh gear has a long ratio to reduce fuel consumption.

The driver can let the seven-speed S tronic operate automatically or can change gear themselves using the selector lever or the steering wheel paddles.

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There is also a choice of two driving programmes in automatic mode.

In D mode, the engine is optimised for everyday traffic. In S mode, the engine is designed for more agility and the revs are higher.

Gears are shifted almost imperceptibly within hundredths of a second.

The quattro permanent allwheel drive combines gripping dynamism with considerable stability.

Its central component is the electronically controlled, hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch, which is mounted at the rear axle for reasons of axle load distribution.

The multi-plate clutch uses software that is tailored specifically to the RS 3.

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It distributes the drive torque extremely quickly to the front and rear axle as required. Depending on the driving style and coefficient of friction, between 50 and 100% of the available drive force can be sent to the rear axle.

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The Citizen Trail Run 2018

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