The Audi RS 3 and Mercedes-AMG A 45 have been locked in a grudge match for Teutonic hot hatch supremacy for some time. The A 45 and RS 3 sit at the top of the hot hatch totem in terms of performance.
To counter the A 45’s recent 280kW/475Nm assault, Ingolstadt’s pocket rocket receives a fettled version of its 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder engine like in the RS 3 sedan. Power is now 294kW and torque climbs to 480Nm. An aluminium crankcase reduces weight by an impressive 26kg.
As a result, the RS 3 will now accelerate from 0-100km/h in just 4.2-seconds, equal to that quoted for the Sindelfingen-spawned sledgehammer, the A45. Top speed is 250km/h by default, or 280km/h if requested.
Driveline is carry-over seven-speed DSG with quatrro all-wheel drive, with more torque sent rearward when the occasion demands.
19-inch alloys surrounded by 235/35 tyres have 310mm discs peering through, with carbon ceramic stoppers optional for the front end.
Inside, the pews are trimmed in black Nappa leather, with the Virtual Cockpit digital instrument cluster an optional extra. Sound is provided by a 705W Bang and Olufson sound system, which can channel your smartphone via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Expect it to land here in the third quarter priced between $75-80,000.