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Audi RS3 2023: 300km/h top speed makes it the fastest hot hatch ever with new performance edition


Only 300 units of the special performance edition Audi RS3 will go on sale, making this 300km/h rocket a rarity  

Audi has given its RS3 sportback and sedan models a boost in performance just months after the German rocket went on sale in Australian showrooms. 

The iconic turbocharged five-cylinder now has more power than ever and now sits at 299kW (up from 294kW), while torque remains unchanged at 500Nm

This tweak has allowed the RS3 performance edition to be able to hit 300km/h (up from 290km/h), making this variant the fastest factory-spec hot hatch ever to be sold.

Audi RS3 performance edition 2023 front view driving
Only 300 Audi RS3 performance editions will be built

Equipped this way, the RS3 is now a handy ten percent faster at V-max than a Mercedes-AMG A45S, which officially runs out of puff at 270km/h.

Audi achieved the feat by adding a small amount of boost to the turbocharger, increasing charge air pressure by just 1.4psi. 

The German automaker has also made revisions to the standard RS sports exhaust system that now has a modified centre silencer and new gloss-black exhaust tips. 

Audi RS3 performance edition 2023 300 burnout
Audi found a pretty fun way of displaying the RS3’s new top speed

The Audi RS3 performance edition is set to go on sale from early 2023, however it’s likely that an Australian allocation would be incredibly small if any were to come down under.

We’ve asked Audi Australia whether the performance edition will be sold locally – and if so, how many. If we get word we’ll update the story.

What’s new for the RS3 performance edition?

Audi RS3 performance edition 2023 duo shot
Both sedan and sportback body styles will be available in performance trim

The performance edition is the fastest RS3 yet, Audi says, and is capable of hitting 300km/h – 10km/h more than the standard car with the RS dynamics package added. 

To help pull up the RS3 from such high speeds, Audi has fitted carbon ceramic brakes as standard to the performance edition, along with semi-slick Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres. 

The RS3 will gain sports bucket seats for the very first time as standard equipment that feature blue honeycomb stitching and offer “outstanding lateral support during dynamic cornering”. 

Audi RS3 performance edition 2023 front seats
Proper Audi bucket seats have been fitted, along with carbon-ceramic brakes

How does this RS3 compare to its biggest rival, the Mercedes-AMG A45s?

Despite now being the fastest hot hatch, the Audi RS3 still can’t claim the title of being the world’s most powerful, with the Mercedes-AMG A45S still holding that title. 

The AMG A45S has 310kW of power and 500Nm of torque thanks to a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, rather than a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder like the Audi.

Audi RS3 performance edition 2023 engine bay
The great-sounding 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the RS3

Recently, Chasing Cars has performance tested both vehicles and found that the numbers are very similar, with the Audi RS3 sportback achieving a best time of 3.93 seconds to 100km/h versus 3.95 seconds for the A45S. It’s extremely close, despite the A45S having 16kW more power. 

What could be the reason for this? It could all come down to the all-wheel drive system calibration or power delivery, however both cars weigh an identical 1570kg.