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Audi's fast four-door returns: new RS3 saloon unveiled

Published: 30 September 2016

► New Audi RS3 Saloon unveiled in Paris
► Features 394bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine
► Claimed capable of 0-62mph in 4.1sec

Been missing the presence of an RS saloon in Audi’s line-up? Well, your six-year-long wait for one to return is over – because the new RS3 Saloon is here. 

A hot, relatively small saloon? Tell me more! 

It certainly has a lot going for it right out of the gate. Audi’s new four-door features the 2.5-litre TFSI engine from the TT RS, granting it a hefty dose of character – and punch. It’s reputed to put out 394bhp and 354lb ft, which is sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

2016 Audi RS3 Saloon

How quick is it?

Audi claims a 0-62mph time of 4.1sec for the RS3 Saloon. Flat out, it’ll hit an electronically limited 155mph. Audi will derestrict it for you, if you ask, after which the RS3 will max out at 174mph.

What else has changed underneath?

Audi’s cut 25mm out of the ride height, tweaked the suspension and steering, fitted better brakes and – if you’re looking to splurge – you can now opt for carbon-ceramic discs.

2016 Audi RS3 Saloon

And what about the exterior?

You get a host of muscular-looking RS3-specific revisions, including flared arches to accommodate a wider track, a fixed spoiler, new diffuser and large oval tailpipes. 

Audi RS3 Saloon

Any other upgrades?

It’s predictable stuff, otherwise. You get RS3 badging on the seats, illuminated door sills with RS3 logos and Nappa leather sports seats. More aggressive, rib-clenching RS sport seats are available as a cost option, however. 

What else is new on the RS front?

The arrival of this car marks the debut of Audi Sport, formerly Quattro, Audi’s in-house performance specialists. It’s led by ex-Lamborghini boss Stephan Winkelmann, and the new outfit combines all RS models, customer racing and the company’s Exclusive and Collection outfits.

The impossibly stylish and immaculately coiffured Winkelmann has promised a slew of new RS models – eight over the next 18 months. He’ll be busy, then...

Click here for more news and features from Paris 2016

By Lewis Kingston

Formerly of this parish. Inveterate car buyer and seller; currently owner of a '68 Charger project car

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