When reviews first started to trickle out for the new Audi RS3 Sportback, the positive feedback was extremely encouraging. Enthusiasts and journalists seemed to really enjoy the way the new RS3 handled and were surprised with how well the new rear-biased all-wheel drive system works. When the Audi RS3 actually hits dealerships, the cars that it’s going to compete with will be the Mercedes-AMG A45 S and the upcoming BMW M2. As an owner of the previous-gen BMW M2 Competition (no longer in production), Joe Achilles took a crack at the new RS3 to see what it’s got.
Under the hood of the Audi RS3 Sportback is a familiar 2.5 liter turbocharged five-cylinder that makes 401 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. All of that power helps in hit 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, which is stupid quick for such a small car. But a lot of cars are fast. Can the RS3’s new moves impress a BMW M2 and M3 owner?
In this new video, Joe Achilles tests out the Audi RS3 Sportback on some twisty mountain roads in Austria, in wintery conditions, on winter tires. Not exactly ideal for performance testing but it actually worked out well, as the Audi was able to show off its balance of slip and grip.
Audi’s new rear-biased all-wheel drive system, backwards tire stagger (fronts are wider than rears), and revised chassis/steering feel all combine to make the RS3 Sportback a blast to drive and that’s coming from Achilles, a long-time BMW fan. It’s not perfect but it seems to be a ton of fun and quite possibly the very best Audi RS car on sale at the moment.
We won’t get the Audi RS3 Sportback ‘Stateside for awhile to test but I personally cannot wait until we do. I can’t wait to get my paws on the new Drift Mode-capable RS3 to see if Achilles is right.