Long live the king of the Hot Hatch

Some things were just not meant to be contained. Whether it be a ferocious lion or a tenacious three-year-old, some things are hard to hold back.

This has certainly been the case with the new Audi RS3 Sportback which, if Audi’s marketing campaign is anything to go by, has been champing at the bit and ready to break free from its shackles ever since it was previewed last year.

Well the wait is over. The Audi RS3 Sportback is here and it has taken the hot hatchback to the next level. Put simply, this is the most powerful hatchback you can buy. Call it a superhatch.

Figures for this, the second generation RS3 Sportback, are, in a word, astounding. Its 2.5 litre five cylinder turbocharged engine provides 362 brake horsepower, resulting in a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 174mph, which for a hatchback is simply mind blowing.

However, it’s the car’s handling that stands out most. While you can practically hear the RS3 purr as you start the engine, this soon builds to a thunderous roar as you go through the gears. However, it soon becomes clear that Audi has managed to tame the beast, with highlights such as a 19-inch high performance brake system providing an overwhelming sense of control on the road.

This is complemented by Audi’s iconic quattro permanent all-wheel drive technology, which gives you reliable all weather grip, while opting for ‘magnetic ride’ adds intuitive magnetic dampers that cleverly adjust to ever-changing road surfaces. Yes, bumpy potholes are now a thing of the past.

Die-hard Audi fans will also be pleased to hear that the RS3 Sportback has retained its place among the best looking Audis on the road and will no doubt give rise to the kind of high- speed double takes that require an emergency neck brace. The car is wider, without compromising spatial awareness, and is peppered with the kind of luxurious finishing touches that will ensure its position as king of the hot hatches for some time to come. Among them are extended side sills, an eye-catching honeycomb grille, aluminium-look door mirrors and gleaming 19-inch silver alloy wheels.

It truly is a thing of beauty and it’s finally here. But don’t just take my word for it. Judge for yourself at the NE1 Newcastle Motor Show, with the RS3 Sportback accompanied by the Audi Le Mans and the hybrid powered Audi A3 Sportback e-tron.   

You can view the whole Audi range at North East Audi, with dealerships in Newcastle, Wearside, Tyneside and Teesside | drivebenfield.com/audi