Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 16 Mar 2018

About 6-months back, I spent a week driving the Audi RS3 Sedan. I was stunned by the way in which it was able to offer real-world practicality and sedan qualities all rolled within its true track-focused performance and dynamics. Now I spent some time with this, the more recently added RS3 Sportback.

Born in Neckarsulm, Germany, just north of Stuttgart, Audi has a plant which focuses on taking their conventional, elegant and well-built vehicles and adding a large dollop of pure performance, and the kind that wins races as, street cred and ultimately the hearts of petrolheads the world over.

It’s In The Heartbeat

Reminiscent of the original Quattro flying cars, the new RS3 features a 5-cylinder engine, however, this 2.5-litre 5-cylinder produces a simply sensational 294 kW and 480 Nm of torque. The result of this massive bang in a compact body is Audi’s claimed 0-100 km/h in a mere 4.1 seconds. While Audi claims 4.1 seconds, several major motoring publications have reported clocking the sprint in under 4 seconds. Top speed is electronically governed to 250 km/h, but for a fee, Audi will unlock its true capability of 280 km/h.

1Apart from the mighty shove offered by the RS3, comes its sensational bark. Owing to an engine which displaces its grunt with a firing interval of 144 degrees. The 1-2-4-5-3 ignition sequence alternates between directly adjacent cylinders and those further apart from one another, and the result is an absolutely sensational soundtrack and blistering performance which matches.

Sportbacks Are Practical

The RS3 Sportback is much like the sedan in terms of practicality. It is ultimately based on the very sensible A3 Sportback. As a result, the RS3 is a very easy car to live with. Practical levels of ride height, five-doors and Audi’s quattro drive system make living with the RS3 an easy task even when tackling wet or unstable surfaces and doing so with up to four adults in comfort.

2With the Sportback, you also have the ability to drop the rear seats completely and owing to the large boot opening, you are able to easily load anything from your road bicycle to that headboard which you need to move to your new apartment. I think it could even be argued that the Sportback is somewhat more practical than even the RS3’s sedan sibling.

The cabin space sports a minimalistic appearance, and with seats set in Nappa leather, it makes for a very luxurious space. While the Audi options list can get costly and is extensive, it does allow for some very clever technology, including Audi’s simply excellent Virtual Cockpit instrument cluster. Many options which can be fitted also, make the RS3 a truly premium and plush place to be, this includes the likes of the cracking 705W Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 14 loudspeakers.

3The following features are offered as standard for the RS Sedan and RS3 Sportback:

  • 19-inch alloy Audi Sport wheels
  • 4-link rear suspension
  • Acoustic windscreen
  • Aluminium matt styling package
  • Audi drive select®
  • Audi music interface
  • Audi sound system
  • Bluetooth interface
  • Brake pad wear indicator
  • Cruise control
  • Deluxe automatic air conditioning
  • Driver & front passenger airbag with knee airbag & front passenger airbag deactivation
  • Driver information system with colour display
  • Electronic stabilisation program  (ESP)
  • Exterior mirror housings in matt aluminium look
  • Fine Nappa leather trim with contrasting stitching
  • Front seats with height adjustment and retractable thigh support
  • Front sports seats
  • Folding rear seat back
  • Front centre armrest
  • Front head restraints
  • Headlining, cloth
  • Indirect tire pressure monitoring system
  • Inlays in 3D-design Optic titanium grey
  • Interior mirror with automatic anti-glare action
  • ISOFIX child seat mounting for outer rear seat & passenger seat
  • LED headlights & taillights incl. dynamic indicators
  • Leather-covered multifunction sports steering wheel, 3-spoke, flat-bottomed, with shift paddles
  • Lighting package
  • Parking system plus with selective display
  • Sports suspension
  • Start/stop system
  • Storage compartment and luggage compartment package
  • Tyre repair kit
  • Pedals and footrest in stainless steel
  • Progressive steering
  • quattro®
  • Rear fog lights
  • Rear spoiler
  • RS bumpers
  • RS sports exhaust system
  • Scuff plates in door apertures (illuminated)
  • Separate daytime running lights
  • Side airbags at front and head airbag system

SA Pricing RS3 range in SA

RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI quattro S tronic: R895,500

RS3 Sedan 2.5 TFSI quattro S tronic R925,500

See our review of the RS3 Sedan at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoeCFQ6WwQE

Pricing includes a 5-year/100 000 km Audi Freeway Plan

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