AUDI

AUDI RS 3 SALOON RS 3 TFSI 400 Quattro Audi Sport Ed 4dr S Tronic

Fuel

FuelPetrol

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph4.1s

WLTP - CO2 (g/km)

WLTP - CO2214 g/km

The first Audi RS saloon since 2010 features the world's most powerful five-cylinder engine, rated at 400PS. This RS 3 Saloon is very subtle and very, very quick.

SHARP-SUITED SPEED

Audi's RS 3 model also comes in saloon form and with 400PS beneath the bonnet. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

The first Audi RS saloon since 2010 features the world's most powerful five-cylinder engine, rated at 400PS. This RS 3 Saloon is very subtle and very, very quick.

Background

We're used to sharp-suited super-fast RS-badged Audi sports saloons - but we've never seen one based on the A3. The brand has long offered us the four-door S3 of course, a car that now puts out 310PS, but enthusiasts wanting something even faster in a three-box bodyshape have had to wait until the launch of this RS 3 Saloon to get Ingolstadt's ultimate compact super-sedan. In creating this variant, the company has taken the opportunity to include all the features lately added to the standard A3 range - which primarily means extra media connectivity options and the extra cost Virtual Cockpit instrument display. There's still a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged engine driving all four wheels but now you get a power boost to 400PS. More is better, right?

Driving Experience

This 400PS, 174mph RS 3 makes history as the first saloon in the brand's history to use a transversely mounted configuration for its evocative powerplant. The 2.5 TFSI unit delivers 400PS and 480 Nm of torque. Such firepower allows the this compact RS model to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in just 4.1 seconds. It can attain a maximum speed of 155mph and, upon request, Audi will increase the electronically limited top speed to 174mph. The unique sound of the five-cylinder unit intensifies an already emotionally charged driving experience originating from the ignition alternating between directly adjacent cylinders and widely spaced ones. The sound can be modified via the standard 'Audi drive select' drive dynamics system. With its light-alloy crankcase, the five-cylinder engine is 26 kilograms lighter than before. It employs a dual injection into the intake manifold and into the combustion chambers, as well as the Audi valvelift system for variable control of the exhaust valves. Maximum torque is readily available across a broad plateau, which means that you'll rarely be caught off boost. A widened track, bigger brakes and tyres, retuned ESP stability control and a sharpened suspension setup lowered by 25mm distinguish the RS3 from a standard A3 Saloon.

Design and Build

The great thing about Audi RS models is that despite packing a punch that would make Iron Mike appear a bit of a powder puff, they're not ludicrously overt. Those in the know will spot the aluminium mirror housings, side skirts, rear diffuser and the hunkered down stance. Yes, there are 19-inch alloy wheels and burbling exhausts but the RS3 doesn't wear the sort of wings, monster wheel arch bulges and grille-pocked bonnets that appear on most fast saloons. In that regard it's relatively low key. Compared with an A3, the front track of the RS 3 Saloon is wider by 20 millimetres - the front wheel arches are accordingly flared wider as well. At the rear axle the wheels are spaced 14 millimetres further apart compared with the standard model. A fixed spoiler lip on the luggage compartment lid improves the separation of air flow. A distinctive diffuser insert with vertical struts and the large oval tailpipes of the RS exhaust system terminate the rear. The dark-toned interior welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing the RS 3 logos and black fine Nappa leather sport seats with RS logos on the backrests are standard. Optionally available are more contoured RS sport seats with integrated head restraints.

Market and Model

You'll need to budget the best part of £45,000 for this RS 3 Saloon. That's a fraction less than you'll have to find for the RS 3 Sportback five-door hatch and about the same money that Mercedes is asking for what is probably this car's closest competitor, the 381bhp Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 4MATIC. Black fine Nappa leather sport seats with RS logos on the backrests are standard in this RS 3. Optionally available are more contoured RS sport seats with integrated head restraints, their covers being diamond patterned and colour-perforated. The standard RS sport leather steering wheel is flattened at the bottom. As standard, a seven-inch electrically extending MMI screen is fitted and you can add to it the various services of Audi connect, including navigation with Google Earth and Google Street View, as well as information on fuel prices, the weather, travel and traffic. The information is displayed directly in the MMI, and operation is by way of the standard-equipped RS multifunction steering wheel, the rotary/push-button control and touchpad or by spoken command. The two circular instrument binnacle dials are black with red needles and white scales. Or you can specify the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit with its high-resolution 12.3-inch monitor that allows the driver to choose between three display modes. They include a special RS screen that moves the tachometer to the centre. On the left and right information appears on tyre pressure, torque and g-forces. When the transmission is operating in manual mode, a scale with a colour background prompts the driver to use the steering wheel paddle or selector lever to upshift when approaching maximum revs.

Cost of Ownership

Despite a power output that was well into supercar territory not so very long ago, the Audi RS 3 Saloon turns in a very creditable performance at the pumps. Or it will as long as you don't spend most of your time with the loud pedal buried in the carpet. Don't expect its quoted running cost figures to differ very much from those of the previous RS 3 Sportback model, which was rated at around 35mpg on the combined cycle, with emissions of around 190g/km. A start-stop system and energy recuperation system along with a hi-tech oil pump improves efficiency and at the same time earns the car a Euro6 compliance stamp. As the previous hatch models have demonstrated, the RS3's cachet will keep residual values sturdy in the short term at least but expensive options such as the carbon ceramic brakes will cause a softening in percentage values come resale time. Insurance isn't going to be cheap either with a Group 50 valuation resulting in some chunky-looking premiums.

Summary

If there was one thing that previous Audi RS3 models have demonstrated very vividly, it's been that you don't need an impractical shape, a huge thirst and iffy reliability to deliver supercar-style performance. Like its hatch predecessors, this Saloon model delivers all of this in an incredibly effective, no-nonsense way. Buyers will like this car's all-weather ability, its everyday practicality and its relatively tasteful discretion. And the cachet that goes with owning a car powered by the world's most potent five cylinder engine will probably ensure that Audi will sell every one of these that they can get their hands on.

  • Heated rear window
  • Front and rear electric windows
  • Heated windscreen washer jets
  • Privacy glass - dark tinted rear and rear side windows from B-pillar backwards

  • Black painted brake calipers with RS logo at the front
  • RS brake system
  • ESC - Electronic Stability Control + traction control
  • Hill hold assist
  • Anti-lock Brake System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
  • Electronic Differential Lock
  • Anti-slip regulation
  • Electromechanical parking brake

  • Front/rear floor mats

  • RS sports suspension

  • Audi smartphone interface
  • Audi phone box with wireless charging
  • Bluetooth interface
  • Voice control system
  • Audi connect

  • Audi drive select
  • Progressive power assisted steering

  • Automatic start/stop system

  • MMI navigation plus with MMI touch
  • Service indicator
  • Audi virtual cockpit with RS specific display

  • Electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated LED side indicators
  • Black door mirrors
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror

  • Aluminium trim elements
  • Carbon inlays
  • Aluminium air vent surrounds

  • Two SDXC card slots
  • 2 USB interfaces and Aux-In jack
  • DAB Digital radio
  • MMI radio plus with 7" colour MMI screen and MMI controller
  • CD player

  • Rear spoiler
  • Electric panoramic sunroof
  • Matt aluminium radiator grille frame including matt black quattro logo
  • Flared front wheel arches
  • RS3 badge on grille and luggage compartment lid
  • RS front bumper with large air inlets in gloss black and horizontal blade painted in body colour
  • Illuminated door sill trims with RS logo
  • Body coloured side sills extension
  • Model and engine designation badges at rear

  • Audi Beam uses LEDs to project the Audi Sport logo
  • Automatic lights and wipers
  • Headlight washers

  • Dual zone electronic climate control

  • Driver/passenger sunvisors
  • 3 Spoke flat bottomed leather/alcantara multi-function sport steering wheel + gear shift paddles in aluminium look, contrast stitching and RS badging
  • RS gear lever knob in alcantara/leather gaiter with contrast stitching
  • Adjustable front centre armrest
  • Height/depth adjustable steering column
  • Stainless steel pedals
  • 4 lashing points to secure luggage
  • Tool kit
  • Illuminated glovebox
  • Storage compartments in doors side trims, centre console and under front drivers seat
  • Fine Nappa leather upholstery with front super sports seats RS embossed logo

  • Front and rear interior lights with delay

  • Non smoking pack - RS3
  • Black Styling pack - RS3
  • Storage and luggage pack - A3/RS3
  • LED interior light pack - A3/RS3

  • 3 point seatbelts on all seats
  • Seatbelt warning
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • Predictive pedestrian protection
  • Airbags - front driver/passenger, front & rear side, curtain, drivers knee

  • Front head restraints
  • Manual height adjustable front seats
  • 3 adjustable rear headrests
  • Heated front seats
  • ISOFIX child seat mounting and Top Tether with front passenger airbag deactivation
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat

  • Immobiliser
  • Anti theft alarm
  • Anti-theft wheel bolts
  • Remote control central locking

  • 19" 5 arm rotor style audi sport design alloy wheels in glossy anthracite black look with diamond cut finish

  • Tyre repair kit

  • CO2 (g/km): 194
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 214
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Max: 214
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - Min: 214

  • Engine Code: 8VMRWY
  • CC: 2480
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 7 SPEED

  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: True
  • EC Combined (mpg): 33.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb: 29.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Min: 29.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - Max: 29.7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb: 9.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 9.5
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 9.5

  • Generation Mark: 3
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: False
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 400
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.5
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 46E
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Coin Series: RS 3 Sport Edition
  • Coin Description: TFSI Quattro
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12

  • Engine Power - BHP: 400
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 4.1
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - KW: 294
  • Engine Power - RPM: 5850
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 354
  • Engine Torque - NM: 480
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1950
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 49

  • Emissions Test Cycle: Second Act

  • Tyre Size Front: 255/30 R19
  • Wheel Style: 5 ARM ROTOR
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/35 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY

  • Width (including mirrors): 1960
  • Height: 1397
  • Height (including roof rails): 1397
  • Length: 4479
  • Wheelbase: 2631

  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1535
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2060
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 55
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: N
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: N
  • Max. Loading Weight: 525
  • No. of Seats: 5

  • Cruise control + speed limiter: Included
  • Audi parking system plus - acoustic and visual park assist system for front and rear: Included

  • Auto dimming and folding door mirrors: £275

  • Increased top speed to 174mph: £1,600

  • Audi sound system with 10 loudspeakers: Included

  • Metallic paint: £575
  • Pearlescent paint: £575
  • Solid paint: Included
  • Crystal effect paint: £775
  • Audi exclusive paint: £2,400
  • RS sports exhaust system: Included

  • LED headlights with LED rear lights + dynamic rear indicators: Included

  • Black cloth headlining: Included
  • Rock grey cloth headlining: £0

  • Audi Sport pack - RS3: £1,200
  • Driver Assistance pack with camera based traffic sign recognition - A3/RS3 Auto: £1,540
  • Comfort and sound pack - RS3 Auto: £995
  • Matrix LED Exterior lighting Pack - A3: £895
  • Driver Assistance pack - A3/RS3 Auto: £1,540

  • Metallic - Floret silver: £575
  • Metallic - Mythos black: £575
  • Metallic - Glacier white: £575
  • Metallic - Tango red: £575

  • Pearl - Daytona grey: £575

  • Solid - Nardo grey: £0

  • Crystal - Ara blue: £775
  • Crystal - Panther black: £775
  • Audi Exclusive - Custom: £2,400

  • Tyre pressure warning: Included

  • Power adjustable front seats: £650

  • Fine nappa leather - Black with Rock grey stitching + front super sports seats with RS embossed logo: £0
  • Fine nappa leather - Black with Crescendo red stitching + front super sports seats with RS embossed logo: £0
  • Fine nappa leather - Lunar silver with Granite grey stitching + front super sports seats with RS embossed logo: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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