Audi RS 3 vehicles
The arrival of the RS 3 on U.S. soil is a big deal for Audi nerds. This sedan’s sales were limited to overseas markets. The first handful of RS 3s arriving will be identical to the 2018 model but bear 2017 model designation.
0-60 and engine specs
Turning on the ignition reveals the sedans commanding roar, although not as throaty when compared to the Jaguar F- Type R. The RS 3’s powerplant is an at least worthy adversary. The engine note might be the most enticing part of the car, particularly when paired with the optional sports exhaust.
Let’s talk about the battery test performance. The red rocket did significantly better than the 2015 A3 2.0T by hitting 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. We’ve tested the quickest new A3 with a time of 5.4 seconds, and our long-term S3 at 4.4 seconds. The 2017 BMW M2, RS 3’s main competitor, managed the run in 4.2 seconds – though to be fair, it only packs 365 hp.
Exterior and interior
The RS3’s quick and responsive helm, overall agility, and charismatic engine make it plenty capable of goading its driver into bad behavior, but it is also highly refined and steely cool in its luxury presentation. This vehicle has the securely planted feel we expect from a car wearing a Quattro badge; it has a broader nose and extra cornering bite which let it rotate with enthusiasm as well as pulling off playful little slides when its electronic watchdogs are dialed back.
Pass on the firmer sports suspension to save money if you regularly traversed cratered roads like those in Michigan that can make the car ride taut and choppy. We’d probably choose a simple paint color different from our test car’s orangeish Catalunya Red Metallic ($575). The low-speed squeaking optional carbon brakes and a back seat that will elicit complaints from adult-sized occupants are annoying.
The RS3’s cabin remains beautifully assembled, nicely equipped, and very high tech, and changes little from the lesser S3 sedans.
You know the RS3 is ready to rock just by looking at the large front air intakes to the massive tailpipes. This 10Beast car has the muscle to back up its menacing appearance with a 400-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder under the hood. Torque is automatically distributed among four wheels with a seven-speed dual-clutch; the RS3 hit 60mph in 3.5 seconds in our testing. The rip of its distinctive exhaust note sounds terrific the whole way there; it also boasts of a redline of 6900 rpm.