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New Audi RS3 2021 review | The £60k, 180mph, 395bhp A3! | Autocar

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This is the new 2021 Audi RS3, and it's a belter. Unusually for a hot hatchback these days, or any other type of car for that matter, it arrives with a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine. That makes a wholesome 395bhp (400hp, metric horsepower fans), alongside 369lb ft of torque (500Nm).

With a seven-speed dual clutch gearbox and four-wheel the RS3 is good for 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 174mph. Better still, it has a tricky differential at the rear that can torque vector and vary the amount of power it sends to either rear wheel, which even makes the car a touch drifty. Yes, really.

All of which adds up to something that sounds quite startling. Then, though, there is the price. In the UK the RS3 costs from at least £50,900 for the Sportback, as tested here (saloon from £51,900). But then optioned versions, topping out with a 'Vorsprung' specification at £58,650, to which you can add an RS Dynamic Pack, including adaptive dampers, which costs £5000 - though it does also raise the top speed to 180mph.

How good, then, is this new mega hatchback that's dominated by all these big numbers? It's over to Autocar's esteemed road test editor, Matt Saunders, to give the verdict.

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autocar, audi, rs3
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