PATIENCE, it seems, does eventually bring its rewards with the Audi RS3 Sportback expected to arrive here in October.
Australians, of course, had to do without the previous model which won acclaim around the world but this time around, the RS3, priced from $78,900, will not be short of takers.
This hot-hatch is powered by Audi's 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged, direct-injection petrol engine, a reworked version of the unit that does duty in the TT, and produces a formidable 270kW and 465Nm of torque, a slight advantage over the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG expected to be its biggest rival.
A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is on offer, mated with a performance-driven all-wheel-drive Quattro system, which as a point of difference can send 100% of power to the front or rear wheels if needed.
Audi expects the RS3 Sportback to be popular, thanks in part to a 0-100km sprint time of 4.3 seconds, so popular in fact that it is looking to double its overall RS sales in Australia.
To that end, it has equipped this RS3 with a barrel of boastful equipment including 19-inch wheels, quilted Nappa leather sports seats, MMI Navigation plus with MMI touch, LED headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights, and an Audi parking system with park-assist and rear-view camera.
A re-tuned sports suspension and electronically controlled torque vectoring system also enhance the package as does a two-stage exhaust system with muffler flaps that can be opened and closed to vary the soundtrack that accompanies your driving.
"The new Audi RS3 Sportback delivers uncompromising performance," said managing director of Audi Australia, Andrew Doyle.
"With its imposing stance on the road, astonishingly good dynamics and distinctively 'Audi Sport' five-cylinder engine, the new RS3 will undoubtedly make a strong mark on the local hot-hatch scene. The sharp pricing and specification we've negotiated will ensure that this long-awaited performance model will find the success it deserves in this competitive market."
The Audi RS3 Sportback goes on sale in October.
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