The next generation Audi RS 3 Sedan and RS 3 Sportback have arrived in Australia, bringing more torque, heightened driving dynamics, a striking new design and a raft of innovative features that set it apart from its predecessor, and its competitors.
With its five-cylinder, high-performance engine, the Audi RS 3 is one-of-a-kind in the segment; the 2.5-litre TFSI engine delivering 500Nm of torque and boasting 294kW of power. It sprints to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds, thanks to launch control.
The RS 3 Sedan and RS 3 Sportback consume 8.2 and 8.3-litres/100km respectively. For the first time, the RS 3 also features an exhaust system with a fully variable flap control system that supports intermediate positions.
The differences can be experienced in the various modes offered by the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. In the dynamic and RS Performance modes, for example, the flaps open much earlier – the emotional elements of the sound are even more pronounced.
The standard RS sports exhaust system brings out the unmistakable sound of the five-cylinder engine even more clearly. An RS torque splitter, installed for the first time in an Audi, makes the driving experience even more exhilarating too.
It replaces the previous rear axle differential with an upstream multiple disc clutch package to distribute torque between the rear wheels in a fully variable manner. This results in even greater stability and agility.
During dynamic driving, the torque splitter increases torque delivered to the outer rear wheel with the higher wheel load, which significantly reduces the tendency to understeer. In left-hand corners, it transmits the drive torque to the right rear wheel, and vice versa.
The difference in propulsive forces means that the new RS 3 turns into curves even better and follows the steering angle more precisely – especially at high speeds. Its RS Performance track and RS Torque Rear drift mode take advantage of this system.
Pirelli P Zero “Trofeo R” semi-slick tires, which are optionally available. Adaptive damper control supersedes the magnetic ride control of its predecessor. With adaptive dampers, sensors measure the movements of the vehicle body.
The pistons within the dampers contain solenoid valves that offer very energy-efficient control, allowing hydraulic fluid to flow faster or slower as required. The damping characteristics are adjusted accordingly to the road surface conditions and driving situation.
Audi drive select has an effect on the engine and transmission characteristics, the torque splitter, steering assistance, the adaptive dampers, and the exhaust flaps. This creates a broad range of driving experiences – from comfort, to highly dynamic.
On the outside, the Audi RS 3 features a wide RS bumper, redesigned Singleframe grille, and large air intakes. Behind the flared fenders, a slightly protruding air outlet creates a motorsport look. The front and rear (Sportback only) axle track have been widened.
The RS 3 comes standard-equipped with flat, V-shaped Matrix LED headlights, with dynamic turning lights and darkened bezels that feature digital daytime running lights around their outer downturned angles.
When the vehicle is opened, the RS 3 lettering appears on the driver’s side and a chequered flag appears in the pixel field of the other headlight, creating a dynamic scene. When driving, the chequered flag lights up on both sides.
Audi Sport delivers the RS 3 with 19-inch cast alloy wheels in a 5-spoke Y-style design, with RS branding. The motorsports-inspired finishing touches include the redesigned RS-specific rear bumper with built-in diffuser and the RS exhaust system.
Some exterior peripherals, such as the mirror caps, the inserts in the rocker panels, and the tailgate and roof edge spoilers, are available as an option in carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic for an even sportier look.
A total of eight exterior colors are available for the models, including the RS-specific Kyalami Green and Kemora Gray finishes. In the interior, too, many elements specific to the RS accentuate its sportiness.
The standard-equipped 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit plus displays the revolutions per minute in the ‘RS Runway’ design. In addition, there’s displays for G-forces, lap times, and acceleration from 0–100km/h, 0–200km/h, quarter mile, and eighth of a mile.
The RS-specific blinking shift indicator in manual transmission mode changes the rpm display from green to yellow to red, blinking in a manner identical to that used in motorsports, to indicate the ideal time to change gears.
It is also integrated into the head-up display, which is available for the first time in an A3 model, that projects relevant information onto the windshield in the driver’s direct line of sight.
The 10.1-inch touch display in the instrument panel also displays the coolant, engine, and transmission oil temperatures, as well as the G-forces and the tyre pressures.
Carbon-fibre trim in the instrument panel and RS sport seats with RS embossing and contrast stitching (in Nappa leather) enhance the look. The latter are available with glossy black, Express red, or, for the first time, Micrommata green contrast stitching.
The optional RS design package plus adds seat shoulders and accents around the air vents in matching red or green, special floor mats with contrast stitching and RS embroidery, Alcantara steering wheel, and seatbelts with matching coloured edges.
Standard specifications including an electronically opening and closing boot (Sportback), heated, folding and dimming exterior mirrors with memory, wireless Apple CarPlay, the head-up display, and electric front seats with 4-way lumbar support and memory function.
Colour ambient lighting provides a sophisticated cabin character. The folding rear seat backrest (40:20:40) ensures that the new RS 3 is as fit for domestic duties too, and there’s a load of safety features as well.
In addition to the standard equipment of its predecessor, the new RS 3 Sedan and RS 3 Sportback gain exit warning with rear cross traffic alert, and Audi pre sense basic (seat belt pre-tensioning, window and sunroof closure in emergency situations).
Audi park assist and 360 degree cameras make the most intricate of urban environments a breeze too. Bundled with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty, there’s also the option of service plans, and an extended warranty.
These packages can be purchased back-to-back, and allows buyers to include the cost of warranty, servicing and roadside assistance for up to nine years, at the time of purchase. Four option packages will be available at launch.
These include the Carbon package, Matte aluminium styling package, RS design package plus and RS dynamic package plus. Priced at $91,391 for the Sportback and $93,891 for the Sedan (both plus on-roads), the new Audi RS 3 is available now.
If you’re keen on one and need finance, visit CreditOne.