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The small car segment has been heating up for quite some time amongst luxury competitors. The latest carmaker to take their gloves off is Audi, bringing their tried and true RS3 up to date with VW groups’ new MQB platform.

To compete against the likes of the CLA45 AMG, Audi decided to use the tried and true 2.5L I-5, which in this iteration makes a stout 362hp with the aid of turbocharging. Like the Golf R it shares its underpinnings with, power is directed to all wheels through a 7-speed dsg box. This efficient drivetrain tends to provide a lethal combo to competitors, with a sub 4 second 60 time obliterating the competition (and keeping up with some vehicles twice its price). When you do find a nice stretch of road, expect the car to achieve its top speed of 174mph.

While the MBQ platform is more rigid than ever to absolve any tarmac irregularities, expect a suspension dialed towards the firm side. While the RS3 may trace its roots to a front wheel drive car, Audi has done a great job of masking it, with neutral handling that is rear wheel biased. However, don’t expect to break into BMW like drifts at a whim even with all systems turned off.

The exterior and interior are quintessential Audi. The LEDs give the RS3 an aggressive look that is bolstered further with bulging fender flares and intake scoops that are ready to make any Dyson jealous. The interior is as practical as ever, with soft textures and a logical layout, which hasn’t changed in quite some time (this is a good thing).

Let’s just hope that Audi is wise enough to bring this stateside. While the current RS3 only comes in station wagon form in Europe, we hope to get a sedan variant that can compete with the likes of the CLA.

Source: Top Gear