Following the launch of the Audi RS 3 Sedan last fall in Paris, the German automaker has introduced the hot hatch version of the same car in the Audi RS 3 Sportback at the Geneva Motor Show. Called the most powerful production 5-cylinder car in the world, the new model promises blistering performance, accelerating from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 174 mph.

“The Audi RS 3 Sportback offers our customers an attractive introduction to the RS world,” said Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Audi Sport GmbH. “Since 2011, the sporty compact model has proved itself extremely successful on the market. And with the new 5-cylinder engine, the Audi RS 3 Sportback is at the head of its class and counting that strong track record.”

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More power

That new engine produces 400 horsepower from its 2.5 liters of displacement -- 33 more than the previous engine. That gain in output is also matched by stouter torque of 354 lb-ft which is available at just 1,700 rpm. The engine also is over 57 pounds lighter than the unit it replaces thanks to its new aluminum crankcase.

Like the RS 3 Sedan, the Sportback features Quattro all-wheel drive, an S tronic 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch that sends more power to the rear axle under heavy loads. The driver can also select among three modes for the suspension and engine response—comfort, auto and dynamic.

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The RS 3 Sportback is distinguished by a gloss black single frame grille flanked by larger inlets and angular sill trim. At the rear is an RS roof edge spoiler, rear diffuser insure and large oval exhaust tips. Inside, the cabin is fitted with a special RS screen, lap timer and boost pressure indicated along with sport seats upholstered in black Nappa leather. The sport steering wheel features a flat bottom and has additional switches to control the infotainment system. The car goes on sale in Europe this August at 54,600 Euro. There’s no word yet on U.S. sales.


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