RS 3

Audi reveals an all-new 296bhp S3

It seems that the ‘on-paper’ superiority of BMW’s M135i xDrive is about to receive a serious challenge from Audi’s all-new S3, due to be launched at the forthcoming Paris Motor Show.

Based upon the new lighter Audi A3, the 2013 S3 weighs 60kg less than its predecessor, tipping the scales at just 1,395kg. And while the S3 Sportback previously wielded 261bhp, its successor deploys a class-leading 296bhp from a completely new 2.0 TFSI engine, developed specifically for the S3.

Audi releases the RS 3 Sportback

It counts as a ‘good day’ in our book whenever Audi launches a new RS-model, it used to be a rare occurrence because Audi only made 1 RS model at a time, but that’s all changed and we’ve now got 3 RS Audi’s to choose from, or at least we will when in spring next year the RS 3 Sportback goes on sale.

The timing of this new RS 3 model is nothing if not convenient, with BMW’s 1 Series M Coupe due on sale just 3 months later. In fact there’s plenty more these natural competitors have in common – both are powered by turbocharged engines producing nearly 340 bhp, both are to be priced just under £40k (or maybe slightly over in the BMW’s case), but they’re as near as dammit rivals in the usual apples-and-pears way that Audi’s RS models square off with BMW’s M Cars.