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The New Audi RS3 Ticks All of My Boxes

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author photo by Will Kinton April 2017

Audi recently showed off their new 2017 RS 3, and it's finally coming to the U.S.! No longer will it be a forbidden fruit sitting on the wrong side of the Atlantic, but rather a source of highly accessible and practical power. Even better, this generation of the RS 3 makes it look like Audi is doing everything right.

First and foremost, the engine. The new Audi RS 3 will be powered by the only engine it should be powered by -- a turbocharged 2.5-liter 5-cylinder that makes 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. For a car as small as the RS 3, that's a LOT of power -- and it can do zero to 60 in a smidgen over 4 seconds. It also appears to make a fantastically unique sound that's nothing like anything else on the road (except for the TT RS, which shares the same engine). And it should also handle quite well, as it's built on the same MQB platform as the normal A3 and the TTS.

Inside, the design is typical of Audi, who I think is making some of the best interiors in the business right now. The RS 3 comes with Audi's Virtual Cockpit, which I experienced in a version of in the TTS. It really works well, removing the imposing tablet slab that's become the norm. The Virtual Cockpit also has special "RS" mode that gives you relevant information when you're canning it.

Perhaps most importantly, the Audi RS 3 also is a really good value for money. It's going to be about $54,000, which is certainly a lot for a car -- but not for a relatively practical, high-performance luxury car. To put that into perspective, the TTS -- which has less power and less practicality due to having only two doors -- costs $53,000. With the RS 3, you will get so much more for your money, both in performance and livability. I can't wait to drive it when it comes Stateside this summer -- and if I had to pick one disappointment, it's that U.S. buyers will only be offered the sedan and not the hatchback that'll be available in Europe.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
The New Audi RS3 Ticks All of My Boxes - Autotrader