There are plenty of reasons to love the Audi RS3, and now there are a few more. Six more to be specific, in the form of the new RS3 Performance Edition with a 401-bhp (407 PS / 299 kW) turbocharged inline-5 engine. That's up from 395 bhp (401 PS / 294 kW), and the special model offers a few other enhancements as well.
Unfortunately, only 300 will be made worldwide, and none are heading to North America and there's no confirmation on UK availability yet.
Let's focus on the power for a moment. Audi adds a bit more boost to the turbocharger, complemented by exhaust tweaks for both power and sound. Peak power is increased, but the changes also stretch the peak torque band by 100 rpm, with 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-metres) available from 2,250 to 5,700 rpm. Power still goes to the ground through a seven-speed Stronic dual-clutch transmission, with the RS3 Performance Edition reaching 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds.
Gallery: Audi RS 3 Sportback performance edition (2022)
However, keep your foot planted and the speedometer will twist all the way to 186 mph (300 km/h). This is faster than the standard RS3, and according to Audi, it's the fastest vehicle in its class. However, you do need to add the RS Plus Dynamic Package option to reach that speed.
Audi leaves the suspension tuning alone, as it's already quite capable but the adaptive chassis is standard issue for the RS3 Performance Edition. Ceramic brakes are also standard, and the car rides on package-exclusive 19-inch wheels with Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres. Additional exterior changes include a black rear diffuser along with black Audi badging. Exterior colour options include Nogaro Blue, Daytona Gray, Arrow Gray, Sebring Black, Sebring Black Crysta, and Glacier White.
Inside, the Performance Edition gets standard bucket seats with Dinamica microfibre and Nappa leather. Mercato Blue offers a contrast to the dark interior, found on everything from seat belts to door panels and stitching. The 10.1-inch touchscreen features a carbon-look background, and a special "1 of 300" badge is prominently mounted on the passenger side of the carbon-trimmed dash.
Where it's available, the 2023 Audi RS3 Performance Edition price starts at €70,000 in Germany. It will reach customers beginning in early 2023.
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