Audi has launched the high-performance RS3 Sportback and Sedan in South Africa, one year after the introduction of the new A3.
The sporty Audis are available at local dealers from today at a starting price of R1,215,000.
The new flagship of the A3 range now offers “performance and lateral dynamics on a whole new level” thanks to an award-winning five-cylinder engine in combination with an RS torque splitter.
This torque splitter, installed for the first time in an Audi, replaces the previous rear-axle differential with an “upstream multiple disc clutch package” distributing torque variably between the rear wheels resulting in greater stability and agility, allowing the Audi to accelerate earlier when exiting corners and set better lap times.
“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,” said Audi.
“In left-hand curves, it transmits the drive torque to the right rear wheel, in right-hand curves to the left rear wheel, and when driving straight ahead, to both wheels.”
This setup is paired with a 2.5-litre, five-cylinder, turbo-petrol engine with a good 294kW and 500Nm on offer – 20Nm more than the outgoing model.
Connected to a seven-speed, dual-clutch auto-box that directs power to all four wheels, both the Sedan and Sportback sprint to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds and reach an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h.
For all this power, you’re also looking at an average fuel consumption of 9.0l/100km for both body styles.
To cap it off, the RS3 line-up gets an RS-specific drive mode for ultimate performance driving, an RS Torque Rear setting making drifting possible, and an RS Sports exhaust system for an aggressive sound.
Optionally, buyers can also spec Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R semi-slick tyres for the first time, as well as increase the top speed to 290km/h.
The RS3 as the top-end model in its range is fittingly differentiated by its looks and equipment.
It features a wide RS bumper with a dark honeycomb grille, larger front air intakes, protruding air outlets behind the wheels, an angular roof spoiler, dual tailpipes, 19-inch 10-Y spoke wheels, a 10mm-wider rear track, and a 33mm-wider front track.
Enhancing the athletic look are standard Matrix LED headlights with 3×5 LED segments with an unmistakable checkered flag design to remind passersby of what this Audi is really built for.
Local customers can also choose from a range of eight paints including the RS-specific Kyalami Green and Kemora Grey hues, as well as a Black Styling Package, Aluminium Styling Package Plus, and carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic exterior components.
Inside the cabin, buyers can expect a 10.1-inch infotainment system sitting next to a 12.3-inch driver’s display with a g-force meter, blinking shifter indicators, and lap and acceleration timers.
Additional standard amenities include carbon fibre trim elements, RS Sport seats with anthracite contrast stitching, a Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, a rear-view camera, park assist, and keyless entry and start.
Further available on the options sheet are a heads-up display, Nappa leather seats, and the RS Design packages in red and green.
The South African pricing and model line-up for the new Audi RS3 are as follows:
- Audi RS3 Sportback – R1,215,000
- Audi RS3 Sedan – R1,245,000
Each purchase includes a five-year/100,000km Audi Freeway Plan.
Audi RS3 Sportback
Audi RS3 Sedan