In Brief

Audi RS3 gets power boost in 2017 revamp

All-wheel drive hot hatch rockets from zero to 62mph in 4.1secs

Audi has introduced a revamped version of its RS3 Sportback, upping the power output and adding more standard options.

The five-door hot hatchback receives minor visual tweaks that echo the regular A3, including a sharper front grille and a more angular headlight design. There are also larger air vents on the front bumper and it's slightly wider than the base car.

Under the bonnet, Audi has fettled with the RS3's 2.5-litre TFSI five-cylinder engine, raising the power output to a monstrous 395bhp - around 32bhp more than the outgoing model. Power is sent to all-four wheels, launching it from zero to 62mph in 4.1secs.

The engine is paired to a seven-speed S tronic transmission and an electro-hydraulic multiplate clutch that distributes the power between the front and rear axles. This can be controlled in the cabin, allowing drivers to alter the steering response and the characteristics of the transmission.

It's one inch lower than the base model and comes with 19ins five-spoke wheels as standard. Tucked behind the wheels are 12.2ins brakes at the front and rear, with carbon ceramic discs available as an optional extra.

On the inside, the two circular instrument dials are separated by a driver information system that relays boost pressure and even lap times. The new model can be specced with Audi's virtual dashboard, which replaces the dials with a digital display and shifts the tachometer into the centre of the instrument cluster.

A smartphone interface now comes as standard, meaning drivers can hook up their handsets using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The on-board system also relays fuel prices and traffic information via Google Earth and Street View.

Orders for the RS3 Sportback open in the summer. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but Evo says it could enter at "approximately £46,500".

Audi A3 gets a facelift and power boost

6 April 2016

Audi has revealed an updated version of its A3, complete with new styling tweaks, petrol engines and infotainment options inside the cabin.

All four of the car's body styles have changed, with buyers able to choose from a hatchback, sportback, saloon and cabriolet. At the front, the facelift amounts to a wider, larger grille and narrower, more aggressive headlamps. The tailgate has been tweaked to look wider, too.

Under the bonnet, however, BMW have added a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, producing 114bhp. According to Auto Express, it will likely power the entry level version of the car when it becomes available next month.

Other new engines include a 2.0-litre four-cylinder, making 188bhp and 236lb ft of torque, with a seven-speed DCT gearbox, as well as a 1.4 litre turbocharged unit with cylinder shut-off technology for fuel efficiency, although Audi has yet to disclose CO2 or fuel economy figures.

There are three diesels, with two available from launch: a 1.6 TDi with 109bhp is joined by a 2.0-litre with 148bhp. A 181bhp version will be added later this year.

The range-topping S3 version gets a slight power boost. The wick is turned up 10bhp for a total power output of 306bhp and 295lb ft of torque.

Changes are also afoot inside. The A3's cabin can now be fitted with Audi's "Virtual Cockpit" display, replacing the instrument binnacles with a large screen – and an updated one at that. The standard, seven-inch retractable display gets the option of Navigation Plus, allowing it to connect to Google Earth and Google Street View.

New safety features include an updated version of Audi's active lane assist, as well as the "Predictive Pedestrian Protection" autonomous braking functions.

Traffic Jam assist also makes an appearance, working with the adaptive cruise control to keep the A3 at a safe distance from the car in front and providing autonomous steering for short distances.

The new A3 goes on sale next month, with prices set to ape the current model.

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