Audi RS3 (2015–)

Model History

December 2014

Audi RS3 hatchback revealed

Retains the 2.5-litre five-cylinder chain cam engine now with 367PS and a peak torque figure of 465Nm – making the new RS3 more powerful than its rivals from BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Top speed is limited to 155mph, but can be optionally raised to 174mph. 0-62mph takes just 4.3 seconds while it returns a claimed 34.8mpg with emissions of 189g/km CO2.

The 2015 RS3 comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch S Tronic transmission with paddle shifters. The speed of shifts can be controlled with Drive Mode Select, which is standard. This also changes the steering weighting, throttle response and even the exhaust note. For those who really enjoy the distinctive five-cylinder sound, an optional exhaust with a deeper note is available.

A quattro all-wheel drive system is standard, as with all Audi RS models. The system can send between 50 and 100 per cent of torque to the rear wheels if necessary – and for the more enthusiastic driver the ESC system can be set to send power to the rear sooner. Audi claims that this allows for “controlled drifts on low-friction road surfaces”.

There’s a high level of equipment – as you would expect from a range-topping model. The MMI infotainment system will be available, along with Nappa leather and Alcantara upholstery. Options include lighter, carbon-fibre backed Sports seats and a selection of 19-inch alloy wheels, plus a carbon engine cover and styling packages in gloss black or matt aluminium.

Among the technologies that differentiate the new Audi RS 3 Sportback from its competitors are the optional carbon fibre-ceramic brake discs on the front axle. They also measure 370 millimetres and are gripped by anthracite grey calipers.

Standard equipment will of course be in keeping with this model’s ranking in the A3 line-up, as will the list of attractive options. For the first time in a compact class Audi this will include newly developed RS bucket seats with integrated side airbags and a carbon seat shell which are seven kilograms lighter than the standard sports seat. It will also offer an RS 3 interior design package with red accents on the seats, knee pads, air vents,floor mats and seat belts.

The infotainment and driver assistance systems familiar from the wider A3 range will naturally also be available, including MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and Audi connect bringing internet-based services to the car.

February 2015

UK specification for RS3 hatchback confirmed

Priced from £39,995 buyers can choose from a palette of eight paint finishes to either accentuate or subtly play down the purposeful look – it includes the two new shades Nardo grey and Catalunya red, metallic, the latter available exclusively for the RS 3 Sportback.

Inside, the standard sports seats are upholstered in Fine Nappa leather with contrasting stitching in rock grey, and the driver’s is perfectly positioned in relation to the flat-bottomed RS multifunction sports steering wheel with its leather and Alcantara trim.

Stainless steel pedals, Alcantara door inserts and inlays in either 3D design black or optional Aluminium Race or Carbon also signal intent. High-quality applications in gloss anthracite black frame the instruments, which include black-faced dials with red needles and white scales, plus a driver‘s information system enhanced by a boost pressure indicator, an oil temperature gauge and a lap timer.

In addition to LED headlights, standard equipment highlights for UK RS 3 Sportback models include the acclaimed MMI radio with its electrically folding colour screen, navigation preparation, Audi Music Interface iPod connection, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity, front seat heating and the parking system plus with acoustic and visual guidance.

Choice options include newly developed RS bucket seats bringing a 7kg weight saving over the standard sports seat, an RS 3 interior design package with red accents on the seats, knee pads, air vents, floor mats and seat belts and MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, which through its Audi connect function beams internet-based services to the car.

September 2016

400PS Audi RS3 added to the range

Same characterful 400PS / 480Nm as Audi TT RS giving a top speed of 174mph unrestricted and a 0-60 of 3.8 seconds (just a tad slower than the T TRS).

480Nm between 1700 and 5850rpm. Normally restricted to 155mph, but can be ungoverned on request to 174mph.

July 2017

Updated RS3 Sportback and Saloon go on sale

Both versions are now available to order, the Sportback priced from £44,300 OTR and the Saloon from £45,250 OTR. Common to both is of course the most powerful five-cylinder engine ever to empower a series production Audi, its 400PS output unlocking a 0-62mph time of just 4.1 seconds and 174mph potential.

The new, 26 kilogram-lighter 2.5 TFSI serves up 480 Nm of torque alongside its mighty 400PS output, and makes all of it available at between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm. This is reflected in the 4.1-second sprint time and the top speed of 155mph which is achievable in both versions, the latter being extendable to 174mph on request.

The unique sound of the five-cylinder unit intensifies the driving experience, and that sound can be modified at the touch of a button via the standard Audi drive select system with its Comfort, Dynamic, Auto and Individual modes.

A seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission channels the power of the 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system, and the driver can adjust the shift points, and the proportion of torque directed rearwards, through Audi drive select. It also influences the operating characteristics of the progressive steering, engine management and adjustable exhaust flaps.

March 2019

RS3 Sportback and Saloon back on sale at increased prices.

RS3 Sportback: £46,285

RS3 saloon: £47,287

RS3 Sportback Audi Sport Edition: £50,285

RS3 saloon Audi Sport Edition: £51,285

The RS 3 Sportback and Saloon are now available in both ‘standard’ and Audi Sport Edition forms. The RS 3 Sportback Audi Sport Edition features a black styling pack with applications for the radiator grille, window trims and rear diffuser insert, combined with 19-inch alloy wheels in Blade design with a gloss anthracite finish. Inside it is upgraded with carbon inlays and a panoramic glass sunroof. The Saloon is similarly equipped but rides on a 19-inch Rotor design wheel and incorporates a boot spoiler finished in gloss anthracite black. 400HP, 480Nm torque, 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, top speed limited to 155mph.

What does a Audi RS3 (2015) cost?

Contract hire from £572.27 per month