One year on from the debut of the current Audi RS3 Sportback and Sedan models, the German brand has released the RS3 Performance edition for both hatchback and sedan bodystyles. The Performance Edition iterations of the third-generation hatchback and second-generation sedan bring stronger performance, as the name alludes to, which comes courtesy of a host of revisions.

Visual cues denoting the Performance Edition include black Audi rings, black RS3 badging front and rear, and black tailpipe trim for the RS sports exhaust.

Powertrain changes bring more power from the turbocharged inline-five cylinder petrol engine (407 PS, or 7 PS up from the standard car) that is delivered 100 rpm higher in the Performance Edition, from 5,700 rpm to 7,000 rpm. Peak torque remains the same figure at 500 Nm, though this is delivered across a band 100 rpm wider, ranging from 2,250 rpm to 5,700 rpm in this revised form.

The gains are achieved through higher boost pressure of 1.6 bar or 0.1 bar higher than that of the ‘standard’ RS3, and these outputs continue to be sent through a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic transmission going to all four wheels.

Claimed 0-100 km/h acceleration time is the same 3.8 seconds as before, though top speed for the Performance Edition is 300 km/h, which is 10 km/h higher than that of the standard car with the RS Dynamics Package that adds ceramic brakes which are standard on the limited-run cars.

These brakes are six-piston units acting upon ceramic discs measuring 380 mm in diameter and 28 mm thick in front, and 310 mm-diameter and 22 mm thick at the rear. These tip the scales at 10 kg lighter than the steel brake system on the standard RS3, and the brake system on the Performance Edition also gets a revised brake booster.

Rolling stock on the RS3 Performance Edition are 19-inch ten-spoke cast aluminium wheels in matte dark grey, in the signature RS3 quirk of tyres that are wider at the front than at the rear, with standard-fit Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tyres measuring 265/35 in front and 245/35 at the rear.

Adaptive suspension is standard on the RS3 Performance Edition, with its modes selectable by the driver through the car’s Audi drive select control. Relative to the regular RS3, the Performance Edition cars have increased compression and rebound damping, which results in tighter handling, says Audi.

As with the regular RS3, the Performance Edition gets the RS Torque Splitter that enables active, fully variable distribution of torque between the cars’ rear wheels in order to minimise understeer when combined with the selectable RS Performance Mode.

Inside, the RS3 Performance Edition gets front bucket seats as standard, with Dinamica microfibre and blue contrast stitching that matches the outer rear seats, and side bolsters in Nappa leather. These seats also get matte carbon seat backs, while blue contrast stitching is also applied to the centre armrest, door armrests and steering wheel.

Here, the RS monitor displays parameters such as coolant, engine oil and transmission oil temperatures, g-forces and tyre pressures. Ahead of the driver, the Audi virtual cockpit can also display lap times, g-forces and acceleration times such as for 0-100 km/h, 0-200 km/h, the standing quarter mile (400 m) and eighth mile (200 m).

Finishing off is a passenger-side carbon inlay that wears a ‘1 of 300’ badge. Priced in Europe from 75,000 euro (RM348,781) for the Sportback and from 77,000 euro (RM358,017) for the Sedan, the RS3 Performance Edition can be specified in Nogaro Blue, Arrow Grey and Daytona Grey, Sebring Black Crystal Effect and Glacier White Metallic.