Audi launches all-new RS3 Sportback and RS3 sedan

High performance Audi RS3 races into South Africa

Reuben Van Niekerk
New model
Audi RS3
hot hatch

The all-new Audi RS3, available in both Sportback and sedan body shapes, represents the epitome of performance in the compact high-performance segment and is now available in South Africa. 

Motorsport inspired design

An updated design features more dynamic and performance orientated touches than before. Upfront a wide RS bumper, redesigned single frame grille with distinctive honeycomb grille and large air intakes ensure an expressive appearance. Behind the widened fenders, an air inlet is both functional and a nod to the world of motorsport. The widened fenders cater for a 33mm wider front axle and a 10mm wider rear axle.

The RS3 comes standard with Matrix LED headlights with darkened bezels and digital daytime running lights. At the rear LED taillights incorporate dynamic turn signals. Motorsport inspired touches include a redesigned RS-specific bumper with built-in diffuser and the RS exhaust system with a large oval tailpipe on either side. Locally, customers can opt for the optional Black Styling package Plus or Aluminium Styling Package Plus that adds a variety of gloss black or matte aluminium accents. Eight exterior colours are available including the RS-specific Kyalami Green and Kemora Grey finishes.

19-inch cast wheels with a 10-Y spoke design are fitted as standard and a 5-Y spoke design is available as an option.

Under the bonnet

Both RS3 models feature the high performance five-cylinder engine that has won the International engine of the year award nine times in a row. In its latest iteration the engine is more powerful than before, bosting 294kW from 5600rpm and 500Nm from 2250rpm. In conjunction with Quattro four-wheel drive and launch control, the RS3 is able to sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.8 seconds on its way to a top speed of 250km/h or 290km/h if the RS Dynamic package Plus is selected.

A new exhaust system features a fully variable flap control system that broadens the sound characteristics of the iconic five-cylinder rumble even further.

The RS torque splitter, installed for the first time on an Audi, provides a better balanced, more exhilarating driving experience. The replacement of the rear axle differential with an upstream multiple disc clutch package, sees an electronically controlled multiple disc used on each of the drive shafts that distribute torque between the rear wheels. During dynamic driving, the torque splitter increases torque delivered to the outer rear wheel with the higher wheel load, significantly reducing the tendency to understeer.

In addition to the torque splitter, Audi drive select now also has an effect on the engine and transmission characteristics, steering assistance, adaptive dampers and exhaust flaps. This creates a broad range of driving experiences, depending whether an emphasis on driving comfort, fuel consumption or dynamic performance is required.

Inside story

Inside many RS specific elements continue the sporty theme. The standard 12.3-inch Audi virtual cockpit displays engine speed in the RS Runway design, which resembles an aeroplane runway as the revs rise. In addition displays for g-forces, lap times and acceleration are present. A coloured shift light display indicates the ideal time to change gears. The 10.1-inch touch display in the instrument panel can also display the coolant, engine and transmission oil temperatures, g-forces and tyre pressures. A Bang & Olufsen premium sound system with 3D sound is standard fitment.

The interior is adorned with carbon fibre trim and RS sport sets that feature RS embossing and anthracite contrast stitching. Seat upholstery is also optionally available in fine Nappa leather with RS honeycomb stitching and glossy black, red or green stitching. RS Design packages in red and green are also available to match.

Model range and pricing

The Audi RS3 Sportback and RS3 Sedan are now available and retail for R1 215 000 and R1 245 000 respectively, which includes a five-year Audi Freeway plan.