Close this search box.

A dynamic duo – the new Audi RS 3 Sedan & RS 3 Sportback

With its high-tech suspension, a new five-cylinder engine with best-in-class performance and a sharper look, the all new Audi RS 3 Sedan and 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. The five-cylinder engine is a legendary element of Audi’s DNA. Now, with 294 kW, it will take up pole position worldwide – and not only in the RS 3 Sportback but also in the RS 3 Sedan. Both models will offer customers an attractive entry into the RS world.

The Audi RS 3 Sportback has enjoyed a successful history in South Africa. The first generation redefined the segment, having been produced in limited numbers for global distribution, Audi South Africa managed to obtain and deliver 174 of those units in the local market. It was followed by the second generation in 2015 and sold 265 units.


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 Sportback is the most powerful series-production five-cylinder engine on the world market.

The five-cylinder engine thus catapults both the RS3 Sedan and Sportback from zero to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds .

Weight reduction:

The new five-cylinder engine is 26 kilograms 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 of the RS 3 Sedan weighs 1,515 kilograms, while the RS 3 Sportback weighs in at 1,510 kilograms. 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 millimetres smaller in diameter. The crankshaft is hollow bored and is therefore 1 kg lighter, while the aluminum pistons have integrated channels for oil cooling.

A dynamic duo – the new Audi RS 3 Sedan & RS 3 Sportback 1
Audi RS 3 Sedan

The start-stop and recuperation systems also contribute towards improving efficiency. In the NEDC cycle, the both models consumed 8.3 litres of fuel per 100km.


The seven-speed S tronic is standard on both RS 3 models. The lower gears of the compact dual-clutch transmission are dynamically short whilst the seventh gear has a long ratio to reduce fuel consumption. 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.

Variable power distribution: the quattro drive

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.

A dynamic duo – the new Audi RS 3 Sedan & RS 3 Sportback 2
Audi RS 3 Sportback

In addition to the quattro drive, Audi drive select affects the operation of the gas pedal, S tronic, steering assistance and the exhaust flaps.

Exterior design

The sporty character of the RS 3 Sedan and 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 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.

A dynamic duo – the new Audi RS 3 Sedan & RS 3 Sportback 3
Audi RS 3 Sedan

At the rear, the RS 3 Sedan demonstrates their power with a distinctive diffuser insert divided by vertically running struts. The large elliptic tailpipes of the RS sports exhaust system round it out on either side. Whilst the sculpted rear of the Sportback is dominated by a distinctive RS roof edge spoiler, the sculpted rear of the Sedan is characterised by the RS-specific spoiler lip on the trunk lid which improves the break-away of the air flow. Both models are available in eight colors, including the RS-specific tones Nardo Grey and Catalunya Red.

Interior & Infotainment

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. Technical materials underline the cool, sporty character whilst soft surfaces provide for noblesse. The Sedan is equipped at 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 colour-perforated.

Also available on the RS 3 is the optional Audi virtual cockpit, optimised to the RS model by shifting the rev counter to the centre. The optional RS design package emphasizes the air vents with red accent rings and creates further visual highlights using contrast stitching. The door trim inserts are made of Alcantara whilst the pedals and footrest are in stainless steel.

A dynamic duo – the new Audi RS 3 Sedan & RS 3 Sportback 4
Audi RS 3 Sportback

The flat hierarchies and intelligently linked context menus make operation of the RS 3 Sedan intuitive and ergonomic. The driver can reach often used functions in only a few steps. The main control element is the round rotary/push-button control on the console of the center tunnel which also has an additional joystick function in conjunction with the MMI navigation. In the case of MMI navigation plus with MMI touch, the surface of the rotary/push-button control features a touchpad.

Optionally available in combination with the MMI Navigation Plus is also the Audi smartphone interface, which integrates selected apps into the car using Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This includes, amongst other things, applications for telephone and streaming services which appear in a separate MMI menu.

Attractive supplementary components complete the infotainment line-up. The Audi phone box wirelessly links the smartphone to the vehicle’s antenna, guaranteeing optimum reception. It also charges the mobile phone inductively using the Qi standard. The Bang & Olufsen Sound System fills the interior with 705 watts of music power using 14 loudspeakers. Anodized aluminum elements decorate the bezels of the woofers, while LED light guides emit white light.

A dynamic duo – the new Audi RS 3 Sedan & RS 3 Sportback 5
Audi RS 3 Sedan

Find out more here.


The Masters of Go


Driving into the future


Bella auto


Flying across ice

Sign up to the Private Edition Newsletter to view our latest magazine