Audi RS3 Made Massively More Muscular Thanks to MTM
It’s a crying shame Audi doesn’t see its rambunctious new RS3 as being fit for American consumption. Yeah, it’s pricier than cars like the Evo and WRX STI, but it’s also more powerful, has more gizmos and, as many people will argue, is screwed together better than those two Japanese rally rockets. Plus, that turbocharged 2.5L inline-five sounds like a slightly-muzzled Sport Quattro rally car from the ‘80s.
But while us Yanks are complaining about the lack of RS3 love, we’re guessing there are at least a few Europeans who take offense to the RS3 being rated at “just” 340hp. For some people, that’s not a big enough buffer over the four-cylinder competition from Mitsubishi and Subaru. However, they’ll be happy to know that the ace Audi augmenters at MTM have not one, not two, but three stages of upgrades for the hottest Hessian hatchback.
MTM’s entry level RS3 performance package retails for 1,900 euros ($2,550 U.S.) and consists of a reprogrammed ECU that bumps output to 410hp and 406 lb.-ft of torque. If that’s not enough, you can step up to the second stage for 4,257 euros ($5,715 U.S.), which includes a freer-flowing downpipe for the turbo and a high performance intercooler plus the Stage 1 pack’s ECU. This package yields a total of 424hp and 413 lb.-ft. Finally, if you want to go…all…the…way, you can send 9,185 euros ($12,334 U.S.) MTM’s way and it will send you the third stage of RS3 upgrades, which includes all the parts from the first two stages, plus a new turbocharger and new spark plugs. The result is a downright angry 472hp and 443 lb.-ft of torque.
Of course, MTM doesn’t just sell power-adding parts. The RS3 seen here has also been fitted with upgraded brakes (always a good idea when adding gobs of power), racing shell seats with snazzy pleated inserts, 19” MTM wheels, sport exhaust, and a racy graphics package. You know, just in case the 4.1 second 0-62 mph time and 181 mph top speed (for the stage three package) didn’t give away the fact that this is no ordinary RS3.
Do we want one? You bet your backside we do. Of course, we can’t have one even if we had the funds since Audi doesn’t even send the RS3 here. But since the TT RS has the same engine and will be coming to the States soon, there may yet be a small glimmer of hope.