2018 Audi RS3 Named to Car and Driver’s 10Best List in its First Model Year in America

 

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Ever since its European debut back in 2011, we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we might not get to drive the Quattro GmbH division’s smallest entry on our shores. But much has changed in six years. The all-new 2018 Audi RS3 debuted earlier this year, and in addition to its numerous upgrades, would be offered in the U.S. for the first time. But after being named to Car and Driver’s 10Best list for 2018, it’s clear the RS3 is just getting started.

The RS3 we originally pined for was impressive enough, fronting 335 horsepower from an intriguing 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five. But the one that made the Car and Driver cut—in addition to the requirement of being offered stateside to get it in the door—sees a rise in power from the same engine, albeit completely remade. By replacing the old iron block with an aluminum one, a 57 lbs. weight savings, and more, the new RS3 puts out 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque.

It’s no wonder that Car and Driver referred to the RS3 as something of an “exciting daydream” in their write-up for the 2018 list. With sport-tuned quattro all-wheel drive, and the nastiest performance hardware one could imagine in a small sedan, we’d file the RS3’s 3.9-second 0-60 sprint a reverie worth entertaining. But beyond having a blast carving through the back-roads with the A3’s wilder big sibling, the reviewers also note the engineering greatness that makes this car such an evocative ride.

If there’s one thing that delineates just how much fun can be had, it’s this. Even though no quattro system is the same, they usually have a set percentage of the amount of torque that can be sent to each axle (on the 2018 A4, it’s 40/60 percent front to back in normal conditions, with a maximum split of 70 front to 85 back). But you will find no such limitation on the RS3. Instead, the on-board computers are tuned to practically launch all the possible torque aft. Luckily, its rear differential can handle loads up to 1,470 lb-ft—roughly four times what the engine puts out.

What happens when the uncompromising A3 decides to live life in the fast-lane? You just read it, and for the first time, you can drive it! To learn about availability and ordering, contact our Audi dealership in Baton Rouge, LA as it’s convenient.

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