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Audi RS 3

Audi RS 3 SportbackFor the first time ever, the USA will see the RS 3 sold at dealers. This is a HUGE deal for lovers of high power small bodied cars. We’ve always been teased by the RS 3, knowing it was out there but we couldn’t have it. Some of us were even lucky enough to have actually driven one, making the hunger that much worse.

The only negative, for some of us, is that the RS 3 is coming to America not as a “hot hatch”, but as a sedan with a regular trunk. Why? We have no idea. But it is the way Audi feels most people want their cars, and hatchbacks are too close to station wagons or something.

Anyway, what follows is a huge amount of Audi literature regarding the RS 3. If you didn’t already want one, this will probably make you think about this car. If you already wanted one, well you’re going to REALLY want one now.

With their high-tech suspension, the new five-cylinder engine and a sharper look the Audi RS 3 Sedan and the Audi RS 3 Sportback are at the top of their class.
RS-specific details in the interior and the unmatched sound of the 2.5 TFSI engine complete the emotional driving experience.

Five-cylinder engines are a great tradition at Audi. In the 1980s they made a decisive contribution to furthering the success of the brand both in motor sports and on the road. After a break of many years, they made a comeback in 2009 when the 2.5 TFSI was fitted in the Audi TT RS. In 2011, the first generation of the RS 3 Sportback followed, in 2013 the RS Q3 and in 2015 the second edition of the RS 3 Sportback.

The RS 3 Sportback has now been modified considerably. It is now joined by the new RS 3 Sedan with which the brand is expanding its offering at an international level.
It is the first compact Audi Sedan to bear the RS label as well as being the first to feature a transversely-mounted five-cylinder engine. The pioneer of this design was the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept study from 2014. 

The most powerful series-production five-cylinder in the world – the 2.5 TFSI – provides propulsion in both the facelifted Audi RS 3 Sportback and the new Audi RS 3 Sedan, which is the first compact notchback Audi with an RS badge. It delivers 294 kW (400 hp) – 33 hp more than the predecessor engine – and is 26 kilograms (57.3 lb) lighter, above all thanks to its aluminum crankcase. Its maximum torque of 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) is available at engine speeds as low as 1,700 rpm and remains constant up to 5,850 rpm. The compact RS models sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in only 4.1 seconds. Immense tractive power is accompanied by the unmistakable sound of the five-cylinder engine. This comes from having the ignition alternate between directly adjacent cylinders and widely spaced ones. On request, Audi can increase the electronically limited top speed from 250 km/h (155.3 mph) to 280 km/h (174.0 mph). In the NEDC cycle, the RS 3 Sedan and the RS 3 Sportback consume 8.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (28.3 US mpg).

The S tronic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and quattro permanent all-wheel drive transfer the power of the five cylinders to the road. Meanwhile, the electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch distributes the drive torque variably between the axles. The sportier the driving, the faster and more often a large share of the torque reaches the rear axle. The quattro management is integrated as a standard feature in the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, as are the steering, S tronic, the engine management, the adjustable exhaust flaps, and the optional RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control. The driver can individually vary the operation of these components between the comfort, auto, dynamic and individual modes. Handling is perfected by the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) with wheel-selective torque control and the sport mode with RS-specific tuning.

Together with progressive steering, the four-link rear axle, and the tight suspension setup lowered by 25 millimeters (1.0 in) relative to the A3, the RS 3 combines fascinating dynamism with superior stability. Compared to that of the series-production model, the track width at the front axle of the RS 3 is wider by 20 millimeters (0.8 in) and accordingly, the wheel arches are also more broadly flared. As standard, Audi equips the vehicle with 19-inch cast wheels fitted with 235/35 tires, and brake discs with a diameter of 370 millimeters (14.6 in). As an option, customers can choose carbon-fiber ceramic discs at the front. At the rear axle, brake discs with a diameter of 310 millimeters (12.2 in) and floating brake calipers are used.

The power of the compact top athletes is visible at first glance – with striking elements such as the quattro logo along the bottom of the Singleframe, the newly designed blade in the bumper and the wider wheel arches. The RS 3 Sportback is characterized further by chiseled sill panels. At the rear, a diffuser insert and the RS exhaust system’s large oval tailpipes are sure to turn heads everywhere. Whilst the sculpted rear of the Sportback is dominated by a striking RS roof edge spoiler, the trunk lid of the Sedan ends on an RS-specific spoiler lip. LED headlights with their distinctive lighting signature are standard for both models, and Audi offers headlights with Matrix LED technology as an option.

In the interior, sport seats upholstered in black fine Nappa leather reflect the dynamic character of the vehicle; more sharply contoured RSAudi RS 3 Interior sport seats are also optionally available. The RS sport leather steering wheel has a flattened bottom section and features buttons for operating the infotainment system. The main control element is the rotary/push-button control on the console of the center tunnel, which can be fitted with a touchpad if desired. This enables the driver to scroll, zoom and enter text. Also included is a free text search that automatically completes the user’s input after just a few letters have been entered. The voice control system processes questions and commands formulated in everyday spoken language. All of the displays are clear and easily legible. The two circular instrument dials are black with red needles and white scales, emphasizing the vehicle’s sporty character. The centrally positioned driver information system includes a boost pressure indicator, an oil thermometer and a lap timer. Available as an option is the Audi virtual cockpit – the fully digital instrument cluster. A special RS screen puts the focus on the rev counter and provides information about tire pressure, torque and g‑forces. In the manual mode of S tronic, a scale with a color background prompts the driver to use the steering wheel paddle or selector lever to upshift when approaching maximum revs.

The infotainment of the Audi RS 3 also boasts high-tech features. Using LTE, Audi connect delivers the brand’s diverse range of Internet services into the car. Using the Wi-Fi hotspot, passengers can surf the web using their tablet, smartphone, etc. The Audi phone box wirelessly links the smartphone to the vehicle’s antenna, whilst inductively charging the phone at the same time. With a 705-watt output and 14 loudspeakers, the Bang & Olufsen Sound System produces an excellent sound experience. Three new driver assistance systems complete the comprehensive offering: in many situations, traffic jam assist briefly takes over steering. The emergency assist brings the vehicle to a standstill automatically if required, and cross traffic assist rear monitors the road for crossing traffic when maneuvering out of parking spaces.


Newly developed 2.5 TFSI with aluminum crankcase, dual injection (intake manifold and direct injection)

294 kW (400 hp), 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) of torque between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm

33 hp more output than its predecessor, 26 kilograms (57.3 lb) lighter

4.1 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62.1 mph)

Maximum speed of 250 km/h (155.3 mph), optionally 280 km/h (174.0 mph)

Fuel consumption: RS 3 Sedan 8.3 liters per 100 kilometers (28.3 US mpg),

188 g CO2 per kilometer (302.6 g/mi); RS 3 Sportback 8.3 liters per

100 kilometers (28.3 US mpg), 189 g CO2 per kilometer (304.2 g/mi)

Striking five-cylinder sound


Seven-speed S tronic with gearshift paddles and Launch Control as standard

quattro drive with an electro-hydraulically actuated and electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, variable drive torque distribution

High degree of stability and dynamic handling thanks to highly precise control


Body is 25 millimeters (1.0 in) lower than the base model

Audi drive select dynamic handling system with four modes, optionally available RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control

Specially tuned progressive steering, McPherson front axle, four-link rear axle

19-inch wheels with 235/35 tires, 255/30 tires are optionally available at front

Internally ventilated, perforated steel discs and eight-piston brake caliper with

RS logo at front, optional carbon ceramic discs at front

Electronic stabilization control ESC with sport mode, deactivation function and wheel-selective torque control


Singleframe with quattro logo and honeycomb grill, striking blade on the front, large air inlets, flared wheel arches, roof edge spoiler (Sportback)/rear spoiler lip (Sedan), diffuser insert, RS exhaust system with large oval tailpipes

Track 20 millimeters (0.8 in) wider at the front compared to the A3

RS 3 Sedan track width at rear 14 millimeters (0.6 in) wider

LED headlights standard, optional Matrix LED technology

Curb weight (without driver): RS 3 Sportback 1,510 kilograms (3,329.0 lb); RS 3 Sedan 1,515 kilograms (3,340.0 lb)

Interior and controls

RS-embossed sport seats as standard, featuring contrast stitching in gray or red

Optional RS sport seats with integrated head restraints, diamond quilting and colored perforation

Decorative inlays in titanium gray with 3D glass look, optionally available in

carbon fiber and aluminum Race design light

MMI monitor with 7-inch screen diagonal as standard, MMI with intuitive operating logic

Free text search and natural language voice control

Optionally available Audi virtual cockpit with high-resolution 12.3-inch display, three display modes, including an RS screen with large rev counter


Second-generation modular infotainment platform

Navigation systems including LTE module for fast online connection and

Wi-Fi hotspot for surfing and streaming on mobile end devices

Audi connect SIM with data flat rate (up to three years use of Audi connect

services free of charge) and roaming throughout the EU ex-factory

Audi MMI connect app

Audi smartphone interface for Android and iOS

Audi phone box for wireless charging

Bang & Olufsen Sound System

Since 2010, the 2.5 TFSI has been voted “International Engine of the Year” in its class for seven consecutive years. Now, Audi presents a new version of the successful power unit. The turbo engine which drives the new RS 3 Sedan and the facelifted RS 3 Sportback is the most powerful series-production five-cylinder engine on the world market.

An output of 294 kW (400 hp) corresponds to an increase of 33 hp. With the displacement of 2,480 cm3 remaining unchanged, the specific output is now 161.3 hp per liter. Its maximum torque of 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) is available at engine speeds as low as 1,700 rpm and remains constant up to 5,850 rpm. The five-cylinder engine thus catapults both models to the top of their class: they accelerate from zero to
100 km/h (0 to 62.1 mph) in 4.1 seconds – two tenths of a second faster than before. On request, Audi can increase the electronically limited top speed from 250 km/h (155.3 mph) to 280 km/h (174.0 mph).

Displacement in cc 2,480
Max. power output in kW (hp) at rpm 294 (400) at 5,850-7,000
Max. torque in Nm (lb-ft) at rpm 480 (354) at 1,700-5,850
Top speed in km/h (mph) 250 (155.3), optionally 280 (174.0)
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (0-62.1 mph) in s 4.1
Fuel consumption (combined) in l/100 km (US mpg) 8.4-8.3 (28.0-28.3) (Sedan)8.4-8.3 (28.0-28.3) (Sportback)
CO2 emissions (combined) in g/km (g/mi) 191-188 (307.4-302.6) (Sedan)
192-189 (309.0-304.2) (Sportback)
Drive system  quattro permanent all-wheel drive
Transmission  Seven-speed S tronic

Figures depend on the tire/wheel combination used

The new five-cylinder engine is 26 kilograms (57.3 lb) lighter than its predecessor which is of considerable advantage to the RS models with regard to the axle load distribution and gross weight. The curb weight (without driver) of the RS 3 Sportback is just 1,510 kilograms (3,329.0 lb). Each hp only has to move 3.78 kilograms (8.3 lb). The RS 3 Sedan weighs 1,515 kilograms (3,340.0 lb) with a power-to-weight ratio of 3.79 kilograms (8.4 lb) per hp.

Elaborate measures on the 2.5 TFSI reduce internal friction while at the same time increasing power output. Its crankcase was changed from compacted graphite iron to aluminum. The cylinder barrels are plasma-coated; the crankshaft main bearings are six millimeters (0.2 in) smaller in diameter. The crankshaft is hollow bored and is therefore 1 kg (2.2 lb) lighter, while the aluminum pistons have integrated channels for oil cooling.

In the short warm-up phase after a cold start, the switchable water pump does not circulate the coolant in the cylinder head – the 2.5 TFSI engine thus reaches its operating temperature more quickly. This lowers the coefficient of friction and reduces fuel consumption. The start-stop and recuperation systems also contribute towards improving efficiency. In the NEDC cycle, the RS 3 Sedan and the RS 3 Sportback consume 8.3 liters of fuel per 100 km (28.3 US mpg).

The gas exchange of the five-cylinder engine is designed for high throughput. The large turbocharger presses the intake air into the combustion chambers with up to 1.35 bar. The intercooler with its 80 percent efficiency reduces the temperature in order to achieve the highest possible oxygen concentration. Intake and exhaust camshafts can be adjusted as required. On the exhaust side, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) changes the valve opening duration in two stages depending on the load and engine speed – for moderate consumption at low and partial load, as well as for a spontaneous throttle response and high tractive power at full load. For a better mixture formation, the new 2.5 TFSI engine works with a dual injection system. It provides the option of injecting fuel into the intake manifold as well as directly into the combustion chamber. The duration and type of injection can be variably optimized for each engine operating point.

The 2.5 TFSI has a firing interval of 144 degrees. Because of the 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence, ignition alternates between directly adjacent cylinders and those further apart from one another. This brings with it a very special rhythm. The basic tone is accompanied by characteristic harmonic frequencies. The engine control unit also contributes indirectly to the unmistakable sound. At high load, the flaps in the exhaust system open for an even fuller sound. Using Audi drive select, the driver can control the opening and closing of the flaps individually – both on the standard RS exhaust system as well as on the optional RS sport exhaust system with black tailpipe trims. The latter sharpens the characteristic five-cylinder sound further.

The seven-speed S tronic is standard on the RS 3 Sedan and the RS 3 Sportback. The lower gears of the compact dual-clutch transmission are dynamically short whilst the seventh gear has a long ratio to reduce fuel consumption. A heat exchanger controls the temperature of the transmission oil whilst a new angle drive at the prop shaft saves two kilograms (4.4 lb).

The driver can let the seven-speed S tronic operate automatically or can change gear themselves using the selector lever or the steering wheel paddles. There is also a choice of two driving programs in automatic mode. In D mode, the engine is optimized for everyday traffic. In S mode, the engine is designed for more agility and the revs are higher. Gears are shifted almost imperceptibly within hundredths of a second. The Launch Control controls starts with optimum traction. With its help, the RS 3 taps into the full potential of its acceleration. Prerequisite: the ESC sport mode must be active and the selector lever in the S position.

The quattro permanent all-wheel drive combines gripping dynamism with considerable stability. Its central component is the electronically controlled, hydraulically activated multi-plate clutch, which is mounted at the rear axle for reasons of axle load distribution. The multi-plate clutch uses software that is tailored specifically to the RS 3. It distributes the drive torque extremely quickly to the front and rear axle as required. Depending on the driving style and coefficient of friction, between 50 and 100 percent of the available drive force can be sent to the rear axle. An electrically driven pump presses the plates in the clutch together with a maximum oil pressure of 40 bar. As soon as the grip on the road is reduced or the driver adopts a more sporty driving style, the clutch can direct some of the drive force to the rear axle when turning into the corner.

Tuned specifically to the RS: the stabilization control with two modes
The developers have applied RS-specific tuning to the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC) and the anti-slip control. In addition to the full mode, there is also a sport mode in which the ESC intervenes later. This mode provides additional driving pleasure, and also enables controlled drifting on low-friction road surfaces. If the driver pushes the button for longer than three seconds, the ESC switches off completely to allow particularly sporty handling.

The handling of the RS 3 is perfected by the wheel-selective torque control – an intelligent software function of the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC). When cornering at higher speeds it slightly brakes the wheels on the inside of the curve which are under less load. Both wheels of the axle can then transmit greater drive torque to the road.

The multi-plate clutch management is integrated into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system. It allows the driver to choose between the comfort, auto, dynamic and individual modes. In the dynamic mode and in the sport mode of the Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC), drive forces are transferred to the rear axle earlier and in greater proportion. This provides the Audi RS 3 with particularly agile and direct cornering characteristics.

steering assistance and the exhaust flaps. Furthermore, it includes the optional RS sport suspension plus with adaptive damper control (Audi magnetic ride). In conjunction with Audi drive select, it uses a special hydrocarbon oil with microscopic magnetic particles and a magnetic field to vary damping in the stages auto, comfort and dynamic. In the dynamic mode, the system enables a more spontaneous steering response and more agile handling. The wheels are precisely braced during cornering and body roll is largely suppressed. Audi magnetic ride counters body pitch during braking.

Impressive dynamism: four-link rear axle and progressive steering
The chassis of both RS models are the perfect partners for their powerful drive systems. A complex four-link construction is used on the rear axle. From a stable central position, these compact athletes corner spontaneously and follow through with superior precision. The progressive steering, tuned specifically to the RS, adapts its assistance according to the vehicle’s speed and can be adjusted using Audi drive select.

The steering rack is designed so that the steering ratio becomes increasingly more direct when cornering. As a result, little steering effort is required to move the RS 3 agilely through curves. At the same time, the electromechanical progressive steering provides the driver with precise road feedback at all times.

The setup of the springs and dampers is decidedly stiff and the body is 25 millimeters (1.0 in) lower than on the base model. 19-inch cast wheels are standard, with the RS 3 Sedan wheels sporting a five-arm blade design, while the RS 3 Sportback gets a five-arm rotor design. Wheels are available in Galvano silver, matte titanium look and gloss anthracite black. The standard tire size is 235/35. As an option Audi can fit 255/30 tires on the front axle.

Mounted behind the large wheels are powerful brakes. The internally ventilated, perforated steel discs on the front axle are 370 millimeters (14.6 in) in diameter. Stainless steel pins join the friction rings to the aluminum brake disc pots to dissipate heat quickly. The eight-piston brake calipers with RS logos are painted in black – or optionally in red. As an alternative on the front axle, Audi can supply carbon ceramic brake discs with gray calipers. At the rear axle there are brake discs with a diameter of 310 millimeters (12.2 in) and floating brake calipers.

The body of the RS 3 is extremely rigid, impact-resistant, quiet on the road and light. An acoustic windshield comes as standard. Further measures reduce interior noise even at high speeds, such as wheel housing shells made of non-woven material. The insulation used behind the pillar trim, behind the instrument panel and in the luggage compartment is made of the same light material. The curb weight (without driver) of the RS 3 Sportback is just 1,510 kilograms (3,329.0 lb) whilst the curb weight of the RS 3 Sedan is 1,515 kilograms (3,340.0 lb).

The backbone of the occupant cell is formed using hot-stamped steels. Before shaping, they are heated to nearly 1,000 degrees Celsius in an oven and are then cooled to about 200 degrees in a water-cooled stamping press. This extreme drop in temperature gives them a high degree of tensile strength. Hot-stamped steels have relatively thin walls, and this therefore makes them particularly lightweight. They are used in the transition from the front of the vehicle to the occupant cell, in the A-pillars, the B-pillars, roof arch, center tunnel, side sills and floor panels. The proportion of these parts in the body is 26 percent.

High-strength and ultra-high-strength steel grades are used in the side members and in the floor of the passenger cell. The engine hood is made of aluminum. It weighs 7 kilograms (15.4 lb) less than the same component made of steel. An aluminum profile behind the front apron serves as a crash absorber, thereby reducing the weight by 1.5 kilos (3.3 lb). The weight reduction at the front of the vehicle provides for a finely balanced axle load distribution. The result is the sporty and agile handling of the RS 3.

The sporty character of the RS 3 Sedan and the RS 3 Sportback is visible at first glance: the front, sides and rear boast new, striking design details.

The Singleframe is more sculpted than before. Its black gloss, three-dimensional honeycomb grill and the quattro logo on the sloping lower segment accentuate the vehicle’s dynamism. A frame with a matte aluminum look further emphasizes the grill. The newly designed blade in the bumper is also particularly noticeable. It turns up at the ends, forming narrow, upright funnels at the same height as the side air inlets, which also feature the same honeycomb structure. This makes the front appear wider still. The housing of the exterior mirrors on both RS models has a matte aluminum look. The Sportback is also distinguished by angular sill trims.

The headlights, also sporting a new design, stand out thanks to their jagged lower edge. They form a striking light graphic. LED units are standard and Audi also optionally offers precision-controlled Matrix LED headlights. 15 precisely controllable LEDs on each side shine through three reflectors to generate the high beam. Based on information from the camera mounted on the interior mirror, the control unit switches the LEDs on and off individually and can also dim them in 64 stages, as necessary. As a result, the Matrix LED headlights can produce several million light distribution variations.

The front track width of the RS 3 Sedan and the RS 3 Sportback is 20 millimeters (0.8 in) wider than an A3 equipped with 19-inch tires. It measures 1,559 millimeters (61.4 in). The wheel arches are flared accordingly. On the RS 3 Sedan, the distance between the rear wheels is 1,528 millimeters (60.2 in) and thus 14 millimeters (0.6 in) more than on the base model.

At the rear, both RS models demonstrate their power with a distinctive diffuser insert divided by vertically running struts. The large elliptic tailpipes of the RS exhaust system round it out on either side. Whilst the sculpted rear of the Sportback is dominated by a distinctive RS roof edge spoiler, an RS-specific spoiler lip on the trunk lid improves the break-away of the air flow on the Sedan. An RS 3 emblem on the honeycomb grill of the Singleframe and on the tailgate complement the dynamic appearance.

Both models are available in eight colors, including the RS-specific tones Nardo gray and Catalunya red metallic. The Audi exclusive program includes numerous individual paint colors. Two optional exterior packages set smart accents on the Singleframe and on the blade. With the matte aluminum styling package, the diffuser insert is differentiated, whilst in the gloss black styling package it is the spoiler lip on the Sedan.

Distinctive lines, clear ergonomics and high-quality craftsmanship – the dark-toned interior of the compact RS models captivates with an atmosphere of cultivated dynamism. It welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing the RS 3 logos as a standard feature.

The Sedan and Sportback are equipped at the factory with sport seats in black fine Nappa leather, with contrast stitching in gray or red creating a visual highlight. Alternatively, RS sport seats with sharply contoured side bolsters and integrated head restraints are also available. Their covers are quilted in a diamond pattern and color-perforated. In addition to black leather, the RS sport seats are also available in stylish lunar silver, thereby contrasting with the dark interior. The backrests are embossed with the RS emblem – just like those on the standard seats. The RS badge is also integrated into the steering wheel which has a flattened bottom section. The rim is covered in a combination of leather and Alcantara. As standard, it houses the multifunction buttons for controlling the infotainment system. The selector lever knob with its sporty design also wears the RS logo.

Inlays on the instrument panel and doors complete the atmosphere of sporty elegance. In the 3D-design “Optic”, they are titanium gray as standard. In order to create a glass look, multiple layers of a transparent film are imprinted and then the decorative side is oversprayed with a five-millimeter-thick (0.2 in) highly transparent plastic layer. Decorative inlays are optionally also available in carbon fiber or aluminum Race, whereby the latter variant sees the integration of a design light on the doors. The door openers are slender double bars – typical of RS models. The door trim inserts are made of Alcantara whilst the pedals and footrest are in stainless steel. Many controls as well as elements on the air vents and glove box shine in an aluminum-look finish.

As an option, the RS design package accentuates the air vents with red rings and the black seat belts with a red edge. The velour floormats then carry an RS logo. Knee pads made of Alcantara and armrests on the doors made of man-made leather – each with red contrast stitching – complement this package.

S5 Box