Crucially though, it sounds mental, like a rally stage refugee, like a hooligan's car. The performance is just as impressive as the aural experience, as the 0 to 100 km/h sprints require only 4.3 seconds. That puts this hatchback in the same league as true sportscars like the Alfa Romeo 4C the Porsche 911, BMW i8 and Audi R8.
Besides the bigger engine, the RS3 comes with a sturdier gearbox than the S3, a 7-speed twin-clutch unit. It also gets wider tracks, stiffer suspension and a new body kit that will take some getting used to. A long silver blade now goes across the whole front bumper and rises upwards towards the headlights like canard wings on an airplane. Around the back, two huge oval exhaust tips have been integrated into a black diffuser, giving a butch appearance to the car.
Of course, all this extra kit doesn't come for free. It's not officially announced yet, but our sources tell us the RS3 Sportback will hit dealerships three months from now and will be priced from a whopping €56,600 (in Germany).