FANS of Audi’s new 290km/h RS3 pocket rocket won’t have to wait too long before getting their hands on Ingolstadt’s latest hyper hatch, with one eager customer revealing to GoAuto that first deliveries are set to commence in March.

Part of an exclusive Audi corporate program, the customer said members were given an exclusive sneak peek at the new model ahead of its international debut along with a few of its key specifications before being asked if they would be interested in securing one.

“There may be some compromises though because they’ve got this shortage of microchips, so we don’t know if the first lot is going to come in with sunroofs or what sort of things they’ve got,” the customer said.

“Being one of the first, we might have to make some sacrifices or we just sit there and say ‘look, we’re just not getting the car so we might well wait for the second delivery’.”

GoAuto understands the new RS3 will brandish a price tag of around $100,000-$105,000 before options and on-road costs, with the customer confirming some deposits have already been taken.

A sticker price like that would mark an increase of around $14,000 compared to the current model (from $86,136 before on-roads), however customers are set to receive a heap of new technology and a significant power bump.

As reported, the new model will once again feature a turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine, now developing 294kW/500Nm – 20Nm more than its predecessor.

Three new RS Modes will be on offer to help extract maximum performance from the car while the new rear axle-mounted torque-splitter should ensure a new level of agility (and driftability).

Dialled up to the max, Audi says its new A45 S challenger will go from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds and push on to an ultimate top speed of 290km/h when fitted with the RS Dynamic package and ceramic brakes.

In standard form the top speed is governed to 250km/h, however a raised 280km/h limiter will also be optionally available.

Compared to a regular Audi A3, the RS3 boasts 33mm wider tracks, lowered RS suspension, an aggressive RS body kit, black 19-inch alloy wheels, six-piston brake callipers and a rear-biased quattro all-wheel-drive system on top of the rabid powerplant.

A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will be the only transmission available.

Inside the cabin, occupants will be greeted by a flat-bottomed RS Sport multifunction steering wheel, 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus with RS-specific readouts and displays, manual shift light, a 10.1-inch ‘RS Monitor’ touch display (again with RS-specific displays), carbon-fibre instrument panel and RS sport seats.

With the local pricing and full specification yet to be officially announced, Audi Australia would neither confirm or deny the RS3’s arrival time, instead reiterating that it was on track to be here in the first half of next year.

The local arm has sold 217 A3s so far this year ending June 30, accounting for just 3.6 per cent of the $40,000-plus small car segment as it gears up to launch the new generation later this year.

The Road to Recovery podcast series