Audi's Sport division is building what is expected to be Ingolstadt's hottest hatch to date, but only time will tell if it will be launched in South Africa.

Audi's Sport division is building what is expected to be Ingolstadt's hottest hatch to date, but only time will tell if it will be launched in South Africa.

While the recent hot Audi's have been big on stealth with only a few styling modifications hinting at the huge performance beneath the bonnet.

While have speculated that the RS3 will use a beefed-up version of the current 24-valve 3,2-litre V6 used in the range-topping A3, with about 260 kW and 454 N.m on tap.

Turbocharged, the powerplant will use Audi's advanced FSI, though Audi SA's spokesperson Rudi Venter told CARtoday.com that by the time the RS3 is formally introduced in 2006, it would be fitted with a new generation of engines, rather than the ones currently in use.

In keeping with the other fast Audi's the new car will also be fitted with the six-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox with paddle-shifts. Performance is expected to be devastating, as it should complete the zero to 100 km/h sprint in under five seconds and reach a top speed of 274 km/h.

The RS3 is said to continue this tradition with a more muscular appearance dominated at the front by the new grille that will soon be displayed on all Audis.

Among the changes that could be expected over the standard S3 are a deep spoiler with large airducts, more flared wheelarches, an extended rear bumper and an additional spoiler above the hatch.

Suspension geometry is transplanted from the A3 models, but engineers have introduced new levels of tautness to the MacPherson strut and multi-link suspension at the front and rear respectively. Changes include stiffer springs and dampers, reduced rider height and no-nonsense anti-roll bars.

The A3's electrically assisted power steering will be carried over without any major changes but the brakes will be heavily upgraded to handle the extra speed.

On the inside, the RS3 will entice its occupants with a high level of luxury including Recaro sports seats, distinctive instrument graphics and changes to the dashboard trim.

As to whether a select number of drivers here will experience the joys of this machine, Venter said the main deterrent to bringing the car to South Africa would be the quality of our fuel. This could pose a problem since Audi's performance cars operate best on high-octane fuels, though he did say this would be re-evaluated once details of the actual powerplant have been made available.

Original article from Car