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The New Audi RS3 vs Old Audi RS3

The New Audi RS3 vs Old Audi RS3

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With each passing model, it has become more powerful and more technical, too, but has still been based around that usefully spacious hatchback layout.

How does this latest RS3 compare to its predecessor?

Audi’s RS3 has been a mainstay in the hot-hatch world for a long time now, offering all of the performance and practicality that buyers in this segment are after. With each passing model, it has become more powerful and more technical, too, but has still been based around that usefully spacious hatchback layout. 

There’s a new one out, but how does this latest RS3 compare to its predecessor? Let’s take a look. 

Exterior of Audi RS3

Interior of Audi RS3

Technology in the Audi RS3

Engine in the Audi RS3

Performance in the Audi RS3


Exterior

Audi RS3

The exterior design of the new RS3 is quite different to that of the car it replaces. It’s based on the latest A3 model, of course, but boasts wider arches and a generally more aggressive stance on the road. Compared with the older RS3, the new version is far more noticeable out on the road whereas it had a more undercover feel to it beforehand. 

Audi RS3At the rear of the new RS3 sits a pair of very distinctive lights, which incorporate the latest LED technology which allows them to ‘scroll’ when indicating. 


Interior

Old Audi RS3 Interior

It’s inside where you’ll notice a big difference between the generations. Towards the end of its life, the older RS3’s interior was starting to look a little dated - though the level of fit-and-finish remained top-notch. The switchgear area was particularly strong in terms of design and feel, while the relatively thin-rimmed steering wheel represents quite the opposite to what you get in most sporty cars on sale today. 

New Audi RS3 Interior

Thankfully, that relatively thin wheel has been carried over to the new RS3, while a complete redesign of the cabin architecture means that it feels more centred around driver and passenger. Plus, as before there’s the option of both saloon and hatchback layouts, broadening the RS3’s appeal. 


Technology

Audi RS3 Infotainment

You’ll notice a real boost in technology between these two generations. Though the older RS3 still incorporated a small central touchscreen and digital dials, even these can’t quite compete with the technological onslaught in the new generation. There’s an updated 12.3-inch ‘virtual cockpit’ ahead of the driver, which features a range of bespoke RS displays to relay key engine and performance data. 

Audi RS3 Seats

There’s also a secondary 10.1-inch central infotainment display with a high-resolution screen. It’s well designed, with logical menu layouts and quick responses. 


Engine

Audi RS3 Rear

The star of the RS3 show was always the 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine and thankfully, this has been retained in both generations we’re looking at here. In the older car, you got 395bhp and 480Nm of torque, resulting in a 0-60mph time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. Quattro all-wheel-drive meant that you got sure-footed traction in all conditions too. 

Audi RS3 Alloy

For the new car, this setup has been kept largely the same. Power remains unchanged, though torque has been boosted to 500Nm, giving the new RS3 distinctly more shove. It means that the 0-60mph time has been shaved to 3.6 seconds, while the top speed can be as high as 180mph on cars with the optional RS Dynamic Pack. 


Performance

Audi RS3 Performance Stats

As well as that boost in torque, Audi has completely revised the RS3’s chassis setup, helping it to better deliver that performance. There’s a new torque splitter at the rear of the car to help shift the power between the rear wheels depending on the type of corner, which really helps to add to the car’s agility. 

Audi RS3 Front

The dampers have been completely redeveloped too, while a new ‘drift mode’ allows the all-wheel-drive system to deliver controlled slides. The brakes have been upgraded as well, while optional ceramic units provide even more stopping power if it’s required. 

Explore The Audi RS3 Hatchback Explore The Audi RS3 Saloon

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