Cars Audi Audi RS3

Audi RS3

2015 Audi RS3

2015 Audi RS3 Exterior
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We finally received all of the information on the 2015 Audi RS3, and boy was it worth the wait!
  • Audi RS3
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-5
  • Transmission:
    seven-speed S tronic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    367
  • Torque @ RPM:
    343 @ 1625
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.3 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    174 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    50000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Audi first introduced the A3 nameplate, which initially included three-door and five-door hatchbacks, back in 1996. The first performance version arrived three years later as the S3, but it took Audi no less than 15 years to launch the brawnier RS3 Sportback model. The hot wagon-like hatch featured a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine with 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful vehicles in Audi’s lineup. The RS3 needed only 4.5 seconds to charge from 0 to 60 mph and its race-bred suspension made it suitable for track hooning. The first-gen RS3 was retired in 2012, after only two years in showrooms. After two years of waiting and several videos with a new iteration of the car doing hot laps on the Nurburgring throughout 2014, Audi has finally unveiled the 2015 RS3 Sportback,

The compact comes with a redesigned, more aggressive exterior, more power, more torque, and a host of brand-new features. Thanks to its updated engine, the RS3 is now the most powerful compact in the premium segment. Check out the full details below.

Updated 12/12/2014: Audi unveiled the first details on the new RS3 Sportback, which is scheduled to go on sale in Europe in March, 2015. Click past the jump for the full details.

61 photos

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2018 Audi RS3 By ABT Sportsline

2018 Audi RS3 By ABT Sportsline

German tuner gives Audi performance sedan a solid makeover

ABT Sportsline is no stranger to working on performance vehicles of German origin and ahead of the 2018 Essen Motor Show, it’s releasing its latest piece de resistance with a kit for the Audi RS3. The kit is available for both sedan and sportback versions of the RS3 and is packing an assortment of different accessories covering the car’s exterior, interior, drivetrain, and suspension.

The result of ABT’s work on the RS3 gives Audi’s performance sedan a whole new personality. Not that it needs one, but there is something to be said for a car like the RS3 that doesn’t get enough attention as it should. The Audi, after all, has to deal with both the BMW M3 and the Mercedes-AMG C63, two of the most established German performance vehicles in the market today. It’s more than capable of holding its own even without the assistance of ABT Sportsline, but if you own an RS3, this king of aftermarket package is one of those offerings that’s going to be hard to turn down. In the end, improvements come in many forms, and in the case of the RS3, there’s enough of them from this program to justify a good long look at the kit.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Audi RS3 by ABT Sportsline

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Audi Sport launches new driving experience at Circuit of The Americas

Audi Sport launches new driving experience at Circuit of The Americas

Learn to master the R8 V10 Plus on a Formula One track!

Audi Sport, the company’s recently founded performance division, launched a new driving experience program in the United States, at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. The program is opened to both customers and fans, who can improve their performance driving skills or experience the new Audi Sport models on a full-blown race track.

The event is open year round to drivers of all experience levels (there’s no specific schedule yet, though,) and the Audi Sport driving experience includes hands-on coaching from professional instructors, dynamic car control exercises, cornering techniques, and high-speed lead. Vehicles featured in the Audi driving experience include the all-new RS3 and TT RS, the R8 V10 Plus supercar, as well as the Q7. In addition to all of the above, participants will also enjoy dedicated suites and garages along with catered meals. Let’s have a closer look at what you can do there.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2018 Audi RS3 Sedan

2018 Audi RS3 Sedan

400 horsepower in a cool compact

The Audi A3 Sedan was launched in 2013, just one year after the German brand introduced the third-generation A3. Offered for the first time alongside the hatchback and convertible models, the four-door shares almost everything with its siblings. It is identical styling-wise except for the deck lid, while the interior is basically the same save for a few changes in the rear compartment. Built on the same MQB platform shared with the Volkswagen Golf, the A3 Sedan also borrows its engine lineup form the A3 Sportback, including the 1.2- to 2.0-liter gasoline units and both the 1.6- and 2.0-liter diesels. Much like any other Audi model, the A3 also spawned S- and RS-badged performance models.

In 2017, the A3 family grew to include yet another member, its most powerful compact sedan yet, the RS3. Caught testing under heavy camouflage as well as on the Nurburgring track since 2015, the beefed-up compact four-door made its global debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. As expected, the RS3 is a more menacing version of the S3, sharing styling cues with the larger RS4 and drawing juice from the award-winning, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine from the RS versions of the Audi Q3 and TT.

The sedan crossed the pond to the U.S. in August 2017 for the 2018 model year as a competitor for the Mercedes-AMG CLA45.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Audi RS3 Sedan.

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2018 Audi RS 3 Sportback

2018 Audi RS 3 Sportback

A sleek speed bubble pushing 100 horses per corner

Audi launched production of the A3 compact three-door hatchback in 1996 with the introduction of the original Typ 8L A3 for the European market. Using the same platform as the Volkswagen Golf and Seat Leon, the first A3 offered an inline four-cylinder engine in both gas and diesel trim. In 1999, Audi introduced the sportier S3 model, which was equipped with a range-topping 222-horsepower turbo four-cylinder. In 2003, the second-gen A3 was released, followed by the second-gen S3 in 2006. Finally, in 2011, the RS 3 Sportback was revealed, rocking a five-cylinder 2.5-liter engine and 335 horsepower. The latest-gen RS 3 arrived in 2015 following the third-gen A3’s release in 2012, and now, Audi is introducing a face-lifted model for the hot-to-trot RS hatchback. The latest RS 3 Sportback arrives on the heels of the RS 3 Sedan, which was revealed just last year at the Paris Motor Show. Now, the hatch heads to Geneva for its official public debut, packing even more power under the hood, updated styling, the latest infotainment gear, lots of luxury, and a decent amount of practicality in the rear.

With the new RS 3 Sportback now in the open, Audi’s sport compact offerings are looking solid, with a full complement of four-doors, coupes, drop-tops, and hatchbacks. However, what really makes the new RS 3 Sportback stand out from the crowd is its powerplant. Making the go in this thing is the most powerful production five-cylinder engine in the world. Granted, high-performance five-cylinders aren’t exactly common, but still, it’s a pretty impressive title all the same.

While stateside customers will be able to enjoy the lovely RS 3 Sedan by this summer, the RS 3 Sportback model is unfortunately not slated for U.S. consumption. And that’s a shame, but it doesn’t mean we can’t ogle it from afar. Read on for all the specifics.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Audi RS 3 Sportback.

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2017 Audi RS3 LMS

2017 Audi RS3 LMS

The RS3 Sedan goes racing with aggressive body kit and FIA safety features

Launched in 2013, the A3 Sedan is the latest iteration of the compact hatchback that Audi introduced way back in 1996. Essentially identical to the five-door save for the extra bodywork at the rear, the sedan features the same interior and drivetrains. The four-door gained a performance-oriented S3 version in 2015, while the range-topping, RS3 was unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.

While the RS3 Sedan was rumored for quite a few years and was somewhat expected to debut in 2016, its official launch brought a huge surprise from Audi, in the form of the RS3 LMS. Named after the race-spec, already iconic R8 LMS, the RS3 LMS is the first factory-built race car based on the A3 sedan and was developed specifically for the TCR series.

If you’re not familiar with the competition, it’s a new touring car championship that debuted in 2015. Promoted as a cost-effective spin-off of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC), the TCR series is sanctioned by the FIA and based on a three-pillar concept that includes national and continental championships, along with the global TCR International Series. All three tiers function under the same technical regulations.

The Audi RS3 LMS will compete in the top-tier TCR International Series, which has been disputed by several brands in 2016, including Alfa Romeo, Ford, Honda, Opel, Peugeot, Seat, Subaru, and Volkswagen. The beefed-up sedan will debut in the 2017 season as a customer race car backed by Audi Sport, the company’s motorsport division.

"With the Audi R8 LMS, Audi Sport customer racing, in a very short time, managed to build a successful customer sport program alongside the factory commitments in the WEC and the DTM. The Audi R8 LMS has since become the market leader in its segment. We have the same plans for the Audi RS 3 LMS, which offers customers an attractive opportunity to get started in fascinating Audi racing," said Stephan Winkelmann, managing director at Audi Sport.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS 3 LMS.

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Audi RS3 LMS Comes Track Ready with 330 Horsepower on Tap

Audi RS3 LMS Comes Track Ready with 330 Horsepower on Tap

Quick, wide, low, and relatively inexpensive

Audi is offering a fresh racing car for apex-oriented customers with the new track-ready RS3 LMS, transforming the updated four-door sedan into a bona fide competition vehicle. The RS3 LMS joins the Audi R8 LMS in the automaker’s lineup of out-of-the-box grid stars.

The Audi R8 LMS was first introduced in 2009, offering privateers a chance to rocket around in genuine GT3 style at events like the 24 Hours of Nurburgring. However GT3 racing is expensive, and as an alternative, the RS3 LMS arrives primed and ready for the TCR International Series, which is considered a more cost-effective entry to the world of touring car racing.

Drawing on experience gained in such high-profile series as the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Germany’s Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM), the RS3 is outfitted with all the usual go-faster goodies. The suspension was massively upgraded, while large wheels and enormous brakes were fitted in the corners. The fenders were hugely flared, and new aero keeps it planted.

Inside, it’s all business, all the time, with a back-to-basics layout, carbon-fiber steering wheel, and digital instrumentation.

Behind the polished rings on the grille, you’ll find a 2.0-liter four-cylinder TFSI engine that’s turbocharged to 330 horsepower. Acceleration looks like 4.5 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standstill, while top speed is rated at roughly 150 mph. Interestingly, that’s quite a bit slower than the road-going RS3, which uses a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine to make 400 horsepower and hit 62 mph in 4.1 seconds, with a top speed of 174 mph.

But don’t worry – this thing will still melt your face in the corners, and as such, it needs to be safe. That means it’s got an FIA-spec fuel tank, safety cell, PS3 safety seat, FIA-approved window nets, and a rescue hatch in the roof.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Audi RS3 Sedan Shakes Its 400 HP Engine In Paris

Audi RS3 Sedan Shakes Its 400 HP Engine In Paris

The Mercedes-AMG CLA45 doesn’t seem so powerful all of a sudden

Introduced in 2011, the Audi RS3 became the company’s most affordable high-performance car. However, it was only made available in the five-door body styles, with the sedan, which was launched in 2013, still waiting for its RS badge. The wait ended at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, where Audi unveiled its smallest performance sedan to date. But despite being small, the RS3 Sedan has a five-cylinder heart that pumps out a massive 400 horsepower.

Developed to grab some market share from the Mercedes-AMG CLA45, the new RS3 Sedan was built on the same recipe that gave birth to the RS4. Audi slapped a menacing body kit onto the A3 Sedan, and replaced the mild and efficient four-pot engines with a beefed-up version of its already iconic 2.5-liter five-cylinder unit. The end result is remarkable, with the sedan having 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque at its disposal, 25 horses more than its AMG-badged competitor. It’s also quick too, needing only 4.1 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standing start. Its top speed is also impressive at 174 mph, but this is only available when the 155-mph limited is removed optionally.

Highlights continue beyond the engine, which is 57 pounds lighter than its predecessor, with an updated dual-clutch transmission and Quattro AWD system, wheel-selective torque control, progressive steering, and carbon-ceramic front brakes.

Styling-wise, the RS3 has a rather subdued appearance beyond the blacked-out chrome, the honeycomb grille mesh, and the larger intakes. Inside, there’s a seven-inch MMI screen, sporty instrument dials, a boost pressure indicator, and as expected on a performance-oriented car, a lap time. This setup can be replaced by a fully digital instrument cluster if you’re not planning to set any Nurburgring records.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Audi RS3 8V By B&B Automobiltechnik

2016 Audi RS3 8V By B&B Automobiltechnik

German tuner gives RS3 owners 550 reasons to get its tuning program

In a market teeming with notable hot hatchbacks, the Audi RS3 stands as one of the most powerful in the segment. But, even with that kind of status, a car like the RS3 is more than capable of accommodating more power. That’s one of the reasons why aftermarket tuners like B&B Automobiltechnik are around. The German tuner has presented a new tuning program for the Audi RS3, one that includes a whopping four-stage engine kit that helps bring the output of the hot hatch’s 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine to a mouth-watering 550 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque.

Needless to say, that kind of power from a car with the stature of the RS3 is impressive. B&B even added a series of upgrades to other parts of the hot hatchback to complement the work it put into the turbocharged five-banger. The full kit also includes modifications to the suspension, brakes, and a new set of wheels that provide a nice visual upgrade and complements all the performance improvements made to the hatchback.

There have been a lot of tuners that have built tuning programs for the RS3 in recent months, but I don’t think any of these tuners have anything approaching the versatility and variety of what B&B Automobiltechnik has to offer. Think those three-stage engine kits are plentiful enough? Apparently, there not even enough for B&B.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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2016 Audi RS3 by Oettinger

2016 Audi RS3 by Oettinger

Prepare to get blown away with this massive engine kit from the German tuner

The Audi RS3 Sportback has only been on the market since 2010 and even in those six years, a two-year gap from 2012 to 2014 saw the RS3 relegated into the sidelines. Quite an interesting life, wouldn’t you say? None of that really matters now because the RS3 Sportback is once again on the market and in yet another twist, it has actually become a tuning favorite by some of the most notable aftermarket tuners in the business.

We’ve seen what the likes of MTM and MR Racing have done to the RS3 so now, we cede the stage to Oettinger, another of the one of the many German tuners that have made its mark in the tuning biz with carefully planned kits like the one it has for the Audi wagon.

As you may expect, Oettinger didn’t pull any punches with this program. Words like “substantial” and “supercar-like” have been thrown out to describe what the German tuner was able to do for the RS3. I’m not going to douse those descriptions with water because once you see what Oettinger was able to do to the powerful wagon, you might be inclined to agree, even if doing so means you’re accepting the fact that this particular kit was developed strictly for the RS3’s 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, hence the absence of any exterior and interior upgrades.

So the question here is this: is the program still worth it if it has no cosmetic or aerodynamic upgrades? I suppose that’ll depend on your priorities, but in any event, this particular kit is definitely not for the weak of heart.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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2016 Audi RS3 By MR Racing

2016 Audi RS3 By MR Racing

German automaker’s popular hot hatch gets another tuning program

Audi’s award-winning 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine has earned another distinction among the list of accolades it has already received. It has become a favorite among aftermarket companies because of the enormous tuning potential it has displayed. One car that has benefitted from this is the RS3 Sportback, the high-performance variant of Audi’s A3 lineup.

You only need to take a look back at some of the recent programs for the RS3 to understand why the model has become a hit to a lot of tuners. Over the past year, companies like ABT Sportsline and MTM have built kits for the car, and now, MR Racing is joining in on the fun with its own program for the RS3.

This program is packed with modifications, especially on the cosmetic and performance fronts. Sure, there are no aero kits to speak of, but MR Racing made up for that by giving the hot hatch a look that inspires both confidence and aggressiveness. More importantly, the engine upgrades are impressive, not because of the immense power increases they provide, but because they’re varied enough to give customers a chance to choose the right amount of power they’d like to have on their RS3s. And because the engine is considered the standard-bearer for all engines in the 2.0-liter to 2.5-liter category, it makes it easier for MR Racing to come up with modifications that suits a wide range of customers.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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2016 Audi RS3 R by MTM

2016 Audi RS3 R by MTM

German hot hatch gets more power under its hood

Remember when MTM released a multi-stage tuning kit for the Audi RS3 back in November 2015? Well, the German tuner’s back at it again with a new and improved program that adds more power to the hot hatch’s 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine.

As if its past works on the RS3 weren’t impressive enough, this new kit promises more power and performance for the model. Kind of appropriate that we get this program not only in time for the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, but also in a climate where the high-performance hatchback segment has become as competitive as ever.

Having said that, this kit isn’t entirely new. Some of its elements were brought over from the previous program. The only difference is that this version is bigger, better, and as fans of the RS3 will surely love, more powerful than anything MTM has built for the hot hatch model.

The only downside to the kit is that it costs a lot of money. Some might be able to afford it, but with a price tag that breaks six figures, others might just opt for something in that price range. Either way, MTM isn’t sweating about this perceived complication. In it’s own mind, it has a new program for the RS3 that’s going to turn the pocket rocket into a bonafide sports car with the numbers to match its new status.

Does MTM’s new kit for the RS3 enough to persuade customers to give it a serious look? Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long for an answer to that question. The Audi RS3 by MTM will make its debut in Geneva before the German tuner opens up shop to take orders and/or inquiries about it.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

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Auto Express Lines Up The Ford Focus RS Against The Audi RS3 And The Volkswagen Golf R: Video

Auto Express Lines Up The Ford Focus RS Against The Audi RS3 And The Volkswagen Golf R: Video

Who’s the new king of the hot hatch market?

The 2016 Ford Focus RS is already being hailed as one of Ford’s most impressive cars in recent years. Surely, the hype has been real for a lot of people, including yours truly. But, has the Focus RS really ascended to the top of the hot hatch pound-for-pound rankings? It’s a fair question to ask considering that there are other hot hatches that can make a case for that (mythical) title.

Auto Express sought to answer that question by lining up the Focus RS against two of its German counterparts, namely the Audi RS3 and the Volkswagen Golf R. Both the RS3 and the Golf R have their own claims compared to the Focus RS. The Audi, for instance, has more power than the Ford whereas the VW has less power, but is also cheaper than the Focus RS.

Each model also offers its own line of benefits that its two rivals don’t have. But even when you use the tale of the tape, differentiating one from the other two really boils down to what a customer wants in his hot hatch. All three are great options and offer, in their own way, a sporty experience in a practical package. That is, after all, the essence of what a hot hatchback is supposed to be.

So which one did Auto Express pick from the three? No spoilers here, so you better watch the video to find out the verdict. I can tell you that picking among these three cars is harder than it looks.

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Audi RS3 Sedan Headed To The US

Audi RS3 Sedan Headed To The US

It’s a long overdue arrival for Audi’s entry-level performance model

It took almost a year, but North American fans of the Audi RS3 Sedan can now start getting excited. The beefed-up, high-performance model of the A3 family is closer than ever to finally making its debut in this part of the world. Word of the RS3’s long-overdue arrival in North America was brought to our attention by Quattro World, which quoted sources close to the German automaker that the brand is finally ready to green light the RS3’s first voyage across the Atlantic.

According to Quattro World’s sources, Audi execs confirmed the RS3’s North American status during the Audi Summit for Audi of America employees. As far as specific details are concerned, there aren’t any yet at this moment. For one, no timetable has been given as to when the car will arrive. The most sensible guess would be sometime in late 2017, which would give the RS3 a 2018MY designation. A price tag has also not been revealed. That makes some sense if there’s still an extended timetable before the model hits the market in North America. My best guess at this point would be somewhere in $50,000 range, and maybe even closer $60,000. That’s taking into account the fact that the 2016 Audi S3, currently the range-topping version of the A3 family in NA, starts at $42,500.

For now, those details hardly matter. Nor is the reason for the monumental change of heart. What is important is that the model is coming to North America. We’ve waited long enough.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2015 Audi RS3 V8 By MTM

2015 Audi RS3 V8 By MTM

The Audi RS3 has had a pretty interesting life, despite how short it’s been. First introduced in 2010, the initial iteration of the RS3 lasted only until 2012. In the two years that followed, the RS3 Sportback was nowhere to be found in Audi’s lineup. It wasn’t until 2014 when the second generation RS3 arrived, bringing with it Audi’s new design DNA. Needless to say, the arrival of the new RS3 caused a lot of stir in the hot hatch and aftermarket communities. The latter, in particular, became busy developing programs for the RS3, including German tuner MTM.

Known for its programs on Audi vehicles in the past, MTM has just released its first program for the new and improved RS3 Sportback. In typical MTM fashion, the German tuner focused the attention of its tuning kit for the RS on the hatchback’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. Since the standard output of the said engine only reaches 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque, MTM went to work and gave the hot hatch as much as 435 ponies and 477 pound-feet of twist to play with. The result is a hatchback that can bust out the chops to the tune of a 0-to-60-mph sprint time of just 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.

Considering the restraints Audi put on the RS3 to adhere to safety regulations, MTM’s new program for the hatch effectively unlocks its full potential, allowing it to become the tire-squealing hot hatch it was developed to be.

Continue reading after the jump for the full review.

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Audi RS3 VS Volkswagen Golf R: Video

Audi RS3 VS Volkswagen Golf R: Video

From just a glance, it is plainly obvious that the 2013 Audi A3 and 2013 Volkswagen Golf are related. Both are built on the VW MQB platform, and they’re built will the same purpose in mind. But the two cars wear different badges, and so different approaches were used to make them, and this become ever more clear when you move up the range to the top-end performance versions of the two cars, the 2015 Audi RS3 and the 2016 Volkswagen Golf R. This video will take a look at the two cars in order to determine just how different they really are, including a lap around the track.

There is a substantial price difference, and Audi is good enough to include a big power bump to go along with all of that extra money you’ll be shelling out. There is also a nicer interior and the chance to say that you drive an Audi, although one would hope that the latter isn’t something that Audi is banking on too heavily. You might think that these cars are so similar that the difference in power and price would lead to a predictable conclusion from the comparison, but the result will probably surprise you.

It’s more than a little bit troubling that the VW wins this comparison. The Audi gets a nod for the better interior, subjective though that may be, but for such a huge price difference, Audi has much to answer for with these results. It would be interesting to see if different testers achieved different results, but there is no reason to doubt the impartiality of this test. One positive aspect of the video is the reviewer’s description of the all-wheel-drive system as “like front-wheel-drive with infinite traction,” which is apt.

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Audi RS3 Demonstration At Anglesey Race Track: Video

Audi RS3 Demonstration At Anglesey Race Track: Video

The 2015 Audi RS3 Sportback is one of the most potent hot-hatches in the world right now. With 367 horsepower, it’s approaching late-90s Ferrari levels of power. The Angelsey Circuit is a secluded, seaside track in Wales and has got to be one of the most picturesque in the World. Combine to the two and you have the makings of a pretty good day. British car outlets Autocar and Piston Heads did just that for an Audi promotional video, with professional test driver Mauro Calo and Audi RS3 designer Stephan Fahr-Becker riding shotgun.

The video is worth a view, if only to watch Mauro do his best to vaporize the rear tires and see Stephan get his first ride in a car he designed! And it’s a good one.

Most car enthusiasts will tell you that even performance Audis tend to understeer. Apparently, someone forgot to tell that to Mauro and the Audi, because The RS3 adopts some seriously sideways slip angles. Cars tend to do that when they have wider tires in front than in the rear. It’s an unusual step to take for Audi, but the RS3’s 255-section fronts combined with 235-section rears improve front grip dramatically over the old RS3. Even so, it’s still incredibly stable when you want it to be thanks to its quattro all-wheel-drive system.

The RS3’s 2.5-liter, turbocharged five-cylinder might not be the most powerful engine Audi builds, but it’s definitely the coolest and makes a great noise. In addition to the previously mentioned 367 horsepower, it produces 343 pound-feet of torque at just 1,625 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via a seven-speed S tronic transmission. It will do 0-60 in just 4.3 seconds and has a top speed of 174 mph, which is slightly insane for a five-door hatchback.

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XCAR Reviews Audi RS3 Sportback: Video

XCAR Reviews Audi RS3 Sportback: Video

Audi has made a truly awesome hot hatch in the form of the RS3. In fact, XCAR believes that the car is something more than that, and in the video here it is proclaimed that the 2015 Audi RS3 is a hyper-hatch. The first reason is obvious: it’s very fast, faster than most hot-hatches by a wide margin. And while there might be a few other hatches which offer similar levels of performance, the RS3 makes that performance much more usable than its rivals. Not to mention the RS3’s ability to behave civilly when the situation requires it. Very versatile indeed.

Hatchbacks have typically been all about versatility, cars that can haul either people or cargo easily, yet are still small enough for use in the city. Hot-hatches add a certain amount of performance to the equation, but performance has advanced slowly in hot-hatches for a number of reasons. The first of these is cost; a low price point has generally been seen as part of a hatches versatility. The other is that hatches are usually front-wheel-drive, and there is only so much power this setup can handle. But neither of these are issues for an upmarket brand known for its all-wheel-drive systems.

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Audi RS 3 "Ice Hockey" Commercial: Video

Audi RS 3 "Ice Hockey" Commercial: Video

There are parts of the world where a performance car is something that can only be enjoyed seasonally. Even when passenger or cargo space isn’t an issue, the cold and the snow makes something like a Miata a bad choice as a winter daily driver for a lot of people. So Audi put out this video as a way to remind us all that, even though it is an impressive performance machine, the 2015 Audi RS3 is also plenty capable on ice and in the cold. This was demonstrated by Audi U.K. taking an RS3 onto a rink with a bunch of hockey players.

Putting out 367 horsepower, hitting 62 mph in 4.3 seconds and running a 12.4-second quarter mile, the RS3’s performance credentials are undeniable. But some buyers are likely to take one look at the low-profile tires and shy away. But the Germans do cold weather well, and Audi definitely does all-wheel-drive well, so the RS3 is an impressively well-rounded car. Sales of the previous generation of the car were good enough to surprise even Audi, and we’re just hoping that this is a good enough reason for Audi to bring this generation over to North America.

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Audi R8 Gives Birth To RS3 Sportback: Video

Audi R8 Gives Birth To RS3 Sportback: Video

This viral video from Audi’s UK arm will have you pondering where it is that their little cars really come from.
But seriously, no it won’t.

The two-minute spot takes viewers to a terrifyingly dark corner of some unknown Audi complex, where a V10-powered R8 revs and vibrates on a high-tech platform, attended by robot arms. Soon the rear fascia is pulled away from the car, and the back of the R8 expands like a snake unhinging its jaw, and lubricating fluids are sprayed everywhere, and, well…this is a much more intimate look at the process of producing the 367-horsepower RS3 sport-compact than you might have been expecting. Or want.

Continue reading for more.

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Audi RS3 Plus May Not Happen

Audi RS3 Plus May Not Happen

Despite certain rumors suggesting otherwise, and Mercedes-AMG reportedly upgrading the A45 AMG to deliver over 400 horsepower in the facelifted model from 2015, Audi doesn’t seem too keen on offering a more powerful version of the recently unveiled 2015 RS3 hot-hatch. Top Gear recently sat down with the Manager of Technical Development at Quattro GmbH, Stefan Reil, and discussed the topic of an Audi RS3 Plus version, which would mirror the old R8 V10 Plus and the upcoming 2017 TT RS Plus in terms of horsepower credentials.

"We are at the limit of the size of the turbocharger. We have durability limits and our warranties to consider, which we learn from summer and winter testing." said Reil when asked about the possibility of a hardcore RS3 Plus. When questioned about 400+ horsepower versions of the previous RS3, made by aftermarket tuners, he said: "Yes, but the tuning companies do not have to comply with our durability and service limits." Top Gear mentioned the 525-horsepower A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept from 2014, but Reil responded by saying that "the turbo in that car was one-and-a-half times bigger than the one in the new RS3."

In other words, an RS3 with more than 400 horsepower from the factory is currently a no-go, despite Reil not officially denying such a model. On the other hand, German carmakers have denied a "horsepower war" with almost every new model generation, but their newest products keep contradicting them.

Continue reading to learn more about the Audi RS3 Plus.

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Audi Confirms: RS3 And Q8 Will Be Offered In The U.S.

Audi Confirms: RS3 And Q8 Will Be Offered In The U.S.

Audi offers plenty of cool and exciting vehicles in Europe that never make their way to the U.S., but that isn’t going to be the case with the performance-driven Audi RS 3 sedan and the style-minded Audi Q8 SUV. In an interview with Automotive News, Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh seems confident that both of these niche models will eventually go on sale in North America.

The first model to arrive on our shores will be the sedan version of the Audi RS 3 that was introduced late last year. In Europe, this 367-horsepower model is only available as the RS 3 Sportback hatchback, but looking to appeal to the sedan-loving U.S. buyers, we will be getting a traditional four-door offering. Keogh said that he is “very confident” that the RS 3 Sedan will be sold here where it will go up against performance cars like the BMW M3 and Cadillac ATS-V. The RS 3 Sedan will join the existing A3 stable that includes the A3 Sedan, A3 Cabriolet, the 292-horsepower S3 Sedan and the sole hatchback of the bunch, the A3 Sportback e-tron plug-in hybrid.

As much as the RS 3 will be an exciting new small car, Audi’s growing model lineup will be bookended by the all-new 2018 Audi Q8 SUV. Derived from the next-gen Q7, the Q8 is expected to have more of a coupe-like profile similar to the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe. Keogh seemed a little more optimistic about the Q8’s chances here as he said this model will “absolutely” make it to the U.S.

Continue reading to learn more about Audi’s plans to bring the RS3 and the Q8 to the U.S.

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Audi RS3 Sedan Rumored To Get U.S. Approval

Audi RS3 Sedan Rumored To Get U.S. Approval

Launched in 2011 as a beefed-up version of the five-door A3 Sportback, the RS3 has been forbidden fruit for performance enthusiasts in the U.S. That’s because Audi thought it made no sense to bring it to North America, where sedans simply sell better. And while the A3 and S3 received sedan versions specifically designed for the U.S., the RS3 has yet to go that route. That may soon change, according to Fourtitude, which claims the RS3 Sedan may have been approved at the Audi of America all-employee meeting in Maryland earlier this week.

The publication goes on to add that "a contact who was at the presentation" confirmed the RS3 that’s headed to the U.S. is a sedan and that Audi was still pondering whether to make it available with a manual transmission on top of the S tronic DSG. No other details are provided, but it’s expected that the RS3 Sedan will share the same 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine with the Euro-only Sportback model. The turbocharged powerplant cranks out 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque and pushes the five-door hatch from 0 to 62 mph in only 4.3 seconds. The engine mates to revised a seven-speed S tronic transmission that shifts faster than its predecessor, and Audi’s quattro all-wheel-drive system.

If the RS3 Sedan does happen, likely sometime in 2016, expect it to cost in excess of $55,000 on these shores.

Continue reading to learn more about the future Audi RS3 sedan.

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2015 Audi RS3

2015 Audi RS3

Audi first introduced the A3 nameplate, which initially included three-door and five-door hatchbacks, back in 1996. The first performance version arrived three years later as the S3, but it took Audi no less than 15 years to launch the brawnier RS3 Sportback model. The hot wagon-like hatch featured a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine with 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque, making it one of the most powerful vehicles in Audi’s lineup. The RS3 needed only 4.5 seconds to charge from 0 to 60 mph and its race-bred suspension made it suitable for track hooning. The first-gen RS3 was retired in 2012, after only two years in showrooms. After two years of waiting and several videos with a new iteration of the car doing hot laps on the Nurburgring throughout 2014, Audi has finally unveiled the 2015 RS3 Sportback,

The compact comes with a redesigned, more aggressive exterior, more power, more torque, and a host of brand-new features. Thanks to its updated engine, the RS3 is now the most powerful compact in the premium segment. Check out the full details below.

Updated 12/12/2014: Audi unveiled the first details on the new RS3 Sportback, which is scheduled to go on sale in Europe in March, 2015. Click past the jump for the full details.

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Video: 2015 Audi RS3 Sportback Laps Nurburgring

Video: 2015 Audi RS3 Sportback Laps Nurburgring

Audi looks to be putting the finishing touches on is upcoming 2015 RS 3 Sportback as this test mule runs ‘round the Ring. Spotted thanks to its larger, more aggressive front lower fascia, lowered suspension, and the aggressive note spewing from the four oval exhaust tips, this Audi means business.

Under the hood, we expect the Audi to have a turbocharged, 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder engine and Quattro all-wheel drive. This updated version of the same I-5 mill found in the previous RS 3 will likely find a home in the new TT RS as well. Rumors suggest the engine could produce more than 360 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Backing the five-banger would likely be the seven-speed, S-tronic dual-clutch found elsewhere in the Audi lineup.

What’s more important is the U.S. has an actual shot at getting the RS 3 Sportback on its shores. If you’ll recall, Audi set a goal back in 2011 of doubling sales of its sporty RS-branded cars in the United States by 2015. Well, the time has come, and the RS 3 Sportback is a likely candidate. The likelihood increases further considering Audi needs a competitor to the Mercedes CLA45 AMG and BMW M2.

We expect to see the 2015 Audi RS 3 Sportback officially unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show. If not, expect it at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. Until then, enjoy this spy video of Audi’s meanest hot hatch tearing up the Nürburgring.

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Audi Planning Diesel RS Models to go Along With the Potential R8 Diesel

Audi Planning Diesel RS Models to go Along With the Potential R8 Diesel

It’s been a good 2014 for Audi. The company is on pace to sell 1.6 million cars this year, a record-breaking number that has come closer and closer to threatening BMW’s top sales numbers. But Audi isn’t just settling for the sales title. It also wants to continue to be on the cutting edge of innovation, something Audi boss Rupert Stadler brushed on when he announced plans to launch RS-badged high-performance diesel models in the future, possibly as soon as the end of the decade.

The company is optimistic that it already has the applications to transition the technology from concept form into production. Remember, the RS5 TDI concept showed that it was possible to slap an e-turbo-diesel engine into an Audi without compromising the car’s performance capabilities.

Stadler understands that the key in achieving that goal is to take a step-by-step process on piecing together the tools and technology needed to make it work on a production model.

You can count on Audi to always be at the forefront of innovation. The German automaker thrives on being in that position, and when you give it incentive to succeed, you can bet that it’s going to pull out all the stops to make it happen.

Click past the jump to read more about Audi’s future diesel plans.

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Video: Audi RS3 Testing At Nurburgring

Video: Audi RS3 Testing At Nurburgring

The fact that the upcoming Audi RS3, due in 2015, is getting in shape at the Nurburgring track is not surprising. However, the video you’re about to watch suggests Audi isn’t ready to give up on its 2.5-liter TFSI engine just yet.

You see, last time the RS3 Sportback was caught stretching its legs in Germany our spy photographers noted the car no longer sounded like one that’s powered by a five-cylinder mill. The scoop only added to the many rumors claiming Audi is downsizing to a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-banger, but this new video suggests otherwise.

Judging by the notes coming out of that dual-exhaust system, the fact that this mule carries a five-cylinder engine under the hood is undeniable, but what are we up against here? Is this mule using an older powertrain to run some chassis and suspension tests or is the new RS3 coming with an updated 2.5-liter TFSI?

Well, there are a few scenarios that make sense for the five-pot to remain on offer. Maybe the Germans managed to squeeze a bit more power out of it while making it more fuel efficient, or we could be looking at less horsepower aided by a lighter RS3. Either way, with the mill bundled with a six-speed S Tronic gearbox and Audi’s brilliant quattro all-wheel drive, the RS3 is bound to make an impression no matter how many cylinders pump under the hood.

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Spy Shots: Production Version of the 2015 Audi RS3 Caught Testing

Spy Shots: Production Version of the 2015 Audi RS3 Caught Testing

The fact that Audi is working on a brand-new RS3 model ever since the third-generation A3 was unveiled in 2012 is no longer a secret, but the details around the high-performance compact are still under wraps. And the same goes for the production version that was spotted testing recently.

The vehicle in question is a Sportback version of the RS3 and, judging by the photos we’ve just received, the five-door has received a more aggressive front bumper with large air intakes and the company’s fresh headlamps and taillights.

Also notable when compared to the previous model are the wider fenders and a dual-exhaust configuration instead of the familiar twin setup. What’s more, the exhaust tips appear to have been embedded in the rear bumper, whereas the preceding RS3 Sportback had them mounted below the piece, in the diffuser-like skirt.

While these exterior tweaks are in line with the updates added to the new A3 and pretty much expected, the RS3 might hide something completely different under the hood.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS3.

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Spy Shots: 2014 Audi RS3 Caught Testing Near the Nürburgring

At a first glance, you may think that this is an ordinary Audi S3, but you would be wrong. According to our spy photographers, they initially caught this car testing on the Nurburgring and it didn’t sound at all like an S3, but more like a hot five-cylinder engine.

Also, the second day they spotted the mule again, and this time they noticed the massive brakes and the larger air intakes in the front bumper — these intakes are non-functional on the S3. This made it crystal clear that this is, in fact, the upcoming 2014 Audi RS3.

Under the hood, Audi will place the same turbocharged, 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine found in the TT RS (where it delivers 340 horsepower) and the TT RS Plus (360 horsepower). Taking into consideration that its biggest competitor — the Mercedes A45 AMG — delivers about 360 horsepower, we expect the RS3 to deliver about the same amount.

The Audi RS3 will debut sometime in 2014 in both three- and five-door configurations.

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi RS3.

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2013 Audi RS3 Sportback by Schwabenfolia

2013 Audi RS3 Sportback by Schwabenfolia

SchwabenFolia has been responsible for a pair of tuner projects this past week. Fresh off of its new program for the Chevrolet Camaro, the aftermarket specialist has a new one in the oven, this time for the Audi RS3 Sportback.

As is always the case with SchwabenFolia, important attention was paid on giving the car a new skin, which in this case is the rather fancy matte Gorange Metallic foil. The gold and orange combination works better on the RS3 than the original Suzuka Grey Metallic finish it had. We don’t know about the €2,350 price tag ($3,060 at the current rates) you have to pay to get that work done, but if money isn’t an object, then it’s a pretty slick way to spruce up the sports hatch. In addition to the new body color, the aftermarket company also tinted the RS3’s taillights and put some shine on the black roof, the front lip, and the Audi logo on the grille.

On the inside, SchwabenFolia also dressed up the interior with new bucket seats that carry the driver’s name and, curiously enough, the Nordschleife logo. All of this comes in at only €1,450 ($1,900).

Finally, a performance upgrade, for just €5,450 ($7,100) was also done on the RS3 featuring a RAGE 2.5 exhaust system developed by F-Town Street with dual 80 mm (3.14-inch) tailpipes. The result is an output increase to 425 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, a significant spike from the standard 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque from the car’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder turbocharged engine.

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Audi Expands RS3 Sportback Production to Satisfy Demand

When Audi launched the RS3 Sportback in the European market, we all knew that it would sell well. It boasts a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that pumps out 340 ponies and 332 pound-feet of twist, so there was no shock that it sold out in just months.

For the most part, when a car sells out, the manufacturer uses the growing demand of this now-scarce car to develop an even larger interest for the following model year. Apparently, Audi is above using demand to drive future models and focuses on taking care of its customers instead. After a fair amount of buyer begging, Audi has chosen to extend the RS3 Sportback’s production by 250 units, despite the fact that production officially ended last year.

In many cases, a manufacturer would take this opportunity to jack up the price as well, but Audi has also decided that the post-production RS3 Sportbacks will be sold at the normal MSRP of ₤39,390 (roughly $62,500).

We have to give Audi a double hat tip for its class in handling this situation, as many automakers would really use this as a screw-the-customer opportunity by ignoring requests or significantly jacking the price. Audi is really showing that it cares about its customers, or the fact that there is already plenty of profit worked into the RS3 Sportback’s standard MSRP.

We’ll give Audi the benefit of the doubt here and say that the reality likely falls somewhere in the middle of those two scenarios. Keep an eye out for the A3’s 2013 debut in the U.S., and the possible addition of an RS3 variant to the American lineup.

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2012 Audi RS3 Plus

2012 Audi RS3 Plus

Audi may be sending out the current generation TT-RS with one final special edition - the TT-RS Plus - but they are introducing another with that same package. At least, that is what a leaked document is suggesting.

Back in June 2011, Audi reported that all of the 2,700 units of the highly anticipated RS3 Sportback had been sold out, but if this document is to be taken seriously, then customers may have another chance to snag the sports hatch in an even cooler package. The RS3 Plus will take the turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine - also found in the TT-RS - and jump-start it by 20 HP, leaving it with a total of 360 HP and 342 lb-ft. of torque. And just like with the TT-RS Plus, the RS3 Plus will be a few pounds lighter, thus making it a little bit faster. Expect to see different carbon fiber elements as well, most likely a specially designed wheel and a fixed rear wing.

The Audi RS3 Plus will be unveiled in May 2012, a month after the TT-RS Plus.

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2012 Audi RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI by MTM

2012 Audi RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI by MTM

German tuner, MTM, has decided that even the most powerful A3 in Audi’s line-up can be improved significantly. Their new package based off of the RS3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI provides the sports hatch with a drool-inducing boost in power and some signature coloring.

Getting the RS3 to a level of supremacy took a series of high tech components, including a modified turbocharger that gives the engine a high-powered air supply. This turbocharger is teamed up with modified spark plugs that ensure the optimal firing of the combustion chambers and a new exhaust system specifically tailored to suit the different power variants. Final counts come in with an output of 472 HP, up from the RS3’s standard 340 HP.

A jump of 132 HP is nothing to shake a stick at so nothing else needed to be done for the Audi to shine. Of course, it was mandatory that MTM splash their customary exterior color combination of black, orange, and white just in case the home of this package was questioned.

Pricing for this package comes in at 10,600 Euro - or about $14,100 at the current exchange rates.

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2012 Audi RS3 by ABT Sportsline

2012 Audi RS3 by ABT Sportsline

With 340 HP, the Audi RS3 is no doubt a very powerful wagon. Of course, that doesn’t mean that tuning firms are going to leave the vehicle untouched; hey, station wagons need a little love too. German tuner, ABT Sportsline’s love translates into 80 extra horsepower - up to 420 HP - with a second stage bringing out 470 HP and 465 lb-ft of torque! Who says, station wagons are boring?

In order to obtain the extra 130 HP for the second stage, the tuner installed an ABT turbocharger, a modified motor management, and a two-pipe stainless steel ABT exhaust system. This allows the Audi Rs3 to deliver a 0 to 60 mph sprint of just under 4 seconds. Both the first and second stage also get their top speed limiter removed allowing for a top speed of 177 mph.

Next to the engine upgrades, the tuner is also offering a new set of ABT light alloy wheels, size 19", wrapped in high-performance tires, 255/30 R19 on the front axle and 225/35 R19 on the rear.

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2012 Audi RS3 by B&B

2012 Audi RS3 by B&B

The 2012 Audi RS3 Sportback might look the part of a ’ho-hum’ car on the outside, but rest assured, it’s got some serious horses lurking waiting to be bumped up by the right tuning house. Fortunately, German tuner B&B is up to the task, offering not one, not two, not even three, but four stages of performance upgrades for the RS3.

The first Stage upgrade takes the RS3’s 2.5-liter turbocharged, five-cylinder engine’s standard output of 340 horsepower and 332 lb/ft of torque up to 410 horsepower and 413 lb/ft of torque. Not content with that? Well, B&B has the Stage 2 upgrade for you, further bumping up the output to 425 horsepower and 428 lb/ft of torque. Then there’s the Stage 3 upgrade that boosts up the output further, hitting 450 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque.

You would think that those upgrades are already enough, but B&B is far from finished. For the price of €15,950 - that’s about $23,000 based on current exchange rates - the German tuner will provide a larger turbocharger and a high-performance stainless-steel exhaust system that brings the RS3’s total output to a mighty impressive 510 horsepower and 501 lb/ft of torque. With this upgrade, the RS3 can now hit north-to-60 in just 3.5 seconds with a top speed of 193 mph.

Other goodies that are part of this whole set-up, include a new two-mode sport suspension, a high performance brake system, and a choice between 19" or 20" wheels. Let’s all be real though; the meat and bones of what B&B is offering centers on the performance improvements done on the Audi RS3.

Not so ’ho-hum’ now, is it?

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2012 Audi RS3 Sportback

2012 Audi RS3 Sportback

It’s been a while, years even, but after waiting for what seems to have been ages, Audi has finally revealed the long-awaited RS3 Sportback. Then again, it’s still better late than never, right?

The RS3 Sportback is the performance level of the new A3, and seeing as the A3 finally hit the market, it wasn’t that hard to think that the RS3 was sure to follow. And now, here we are.

Excited as we are with the release of this sexy and powerful vehicle, Audi has announced that they will only build 2,700 units, which isn’t all that bad if you’re quick to reserve a model, right?

Unfortunately, there’s also another piece of sad news for all our Audi-loving fans here in America. The RS3, awesome as it is, will not see the roads across the Atlantic. From what we’ve heard, there’s a slim-to-none chance that we’ll ever see the RS3 on this side of the world.

Yes, we can hear the collective groans from Miami to Seattle now.

UPDATE 06/08/2011: Audi has announced that all of the RS3 units allocated for the first year have been sold out. When talking about the sales success, Jeremy Hicks, head of Audi UK said: "The fact we have sold out of our allocation for this year is absolute testimony to strength of the brand given that customers have been prepared to order the car without even seeing it first."

UPDATE 07/19/2012: After a fair amount of buyer begging, Audi has chosen to extend the RS3 Sportback’s production by 250 units, despite the fact that production officially ended last year.

In many cases, a manufacturer would take this opportunity to jack up the price as well, but Audi has also decided that the post-production RS3 Sportbacks will be sold at the normal MSRP of ₤39,390 (roughly $62,500).

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2012 Audi RS3 Sportback Black Optics Package

2012 Audi RS3 Sportback Black Optics Package

With the new Audi RS3 Sportback just launched it was to be expected to hear more about it pretty soon. While we all are waiting to get an online configurator to play with, Audi is offering more details about its youngest model.

Audi Exclusive has something pretty cool to offer for the new RS3: a Black Optics Package that adds to your model a pretty impressive look. The package includes front grille, grille frame, front license plate holder and the tailpipes of the exhaust system highly polished black. Ad a pretty cool set of wheels that combines black with red in an amazing effect.

Next to it there will also be a Matte Aluminum styling package that includes matte aluminum finish on the front spoiler, the mounts of the front lower air intakes, trim on the door handles, lateral fins, roof spoiler and the upper edge of the rear diffuser.

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Audi RS3 - steering wheel and instrument panel revealed

Audi RS3 - steering wheel and instrument panel revealed

TheAudi RS3 has been confirmed again: this time thanks to a series of images that show the car’s steering wheel and instrument panel. And at a first look you’ll notice that the odometers says 310 km/h (192 mph). But before you’ll get to excited you must know that the future RS3 will be limited to 155 mph.

It will be powered by the same 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that is found in the TT-RS, but with the output increased by 10 HP (going up to 350 HP). The engine will be mated to a new 7-speed S-trinic gearbox (PQ500 unit) as an option (also available on TT RS for ordering now).

The official debut has been announced for 2011 Geneva Motor Show. Also Audi said there will be only 2,700 units built - the exact same number as the BMW 1-Series M Coupe built. The RS3 will carry a price tag of around $60K.

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More details on the future Audi RS3

More details on the future Audi RS3

Yesterday we confirmed that the Audi RS3 would be making its world debut at the Paris Auto Show at the end of this month. Today we’re ready with more details surrounding the future sports hatchback.

The Audi RS3 will only be offered in a five-door version with prices anticipated to be between £38,000 -£40,000. It will be powered by the same 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that is found in the TT-RS, but with the output increased by 10 HP (going up to 350 HP). The engine will be mated to a new 7-speed S-trinic gearbox (PQ500 unit) as an option (also available on TT RS for ordering now).

And since everyone is obsessed with weight these days - have you seen the crazy crash diets out there?! - Audi has fitted the hatchback with aluminum panels, suspension parts, and special lightweight sport seats to trim the some fat.

As if this information wasn’t enough to sate your appetite for RS3 knowledge, we also have news that Audi will only build 2,700 units of the RS3, one for each BMW 1-Series M Coupe built. Talk about competition. We would have opted for 2,701 units, just to be one ahead.

As a reminder, Audi will also be bringing a concept version for the future Q3 SUV to the Paris Auto Show.

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Audi RS3 to be revealed in Paris

Audi RS3 to be revealed in Paris

Audi has finally decided to come out with the production version of the Audi A3 RS, and we won’t have to wait long to see it either. The small hatchback will be making its appearance at the end of September at the Paris Motor Show. It will also be joined by the concept version of the future Q3 SUV.

Unfortunately, we also come bearing some bad news; Audi will only be producing 2,700 units of the RS3. We still don’t know how many, if any, of those units will be making their way to our side of the Atlantic. Of course, Audi did give word that the A3 sedan would be coming over and they recently decided - yesterday - to bless us with the TT-RS, so we have some high hopes for the hatchback’s oversea venture!

The Audi RS3 will be powered by a 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine, combining Audi’s proven Quattro all wheel drive system with a turbocharged five cylinder engine to produce a factory backed 335 HP. It is also rumored that the RS3 will get an all-new chassis.

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2012 Audi RS3

2012 Audi RS3

Now that Audi has brought the new A3 on the market, they have moved on to preparing its higher performance RS version. Back in April, a test mule was caught lapping in Nurburgring and we had assumed that it would lead to a Paris Motor Show debut. That proved to be an accurate assumption as Audi will be debuting the RS3 at the end of September at the show.

The Audi RS3 will only be offered in a five-door version with prices anticipated to be between £38,000 -£40,000. Like the Audi TT RS, the Audi RS3 will be powered by a 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder turbocharged engine that is found in the TT-RS, but will adjust it to gain another 10hp, bringing the total horsepower up to 350. The engine will be mated to a new 7-speed S-trinic gearbox (PQ500 unit) as an option (also available on TT RS for ordering now). It is also rumored that the RS3 will get an all-new chassis which wouldn’t be surprising considering they have also gone to some lengths to decrease weight ont he hatchback. Audi has fitted the hatchback with aluminum panels, suspension parts, and special lightweight sport seats to trim the fat.

We have also heard that Audi will only build 2,700 units of the RS3, which is exactly the number of units the BMW 1-Series M Coupe will see. Coincidence? We think not.

There is some bad news to this story though; U.S. Audi fans shouldn’t hold their breath in anticipation for the new RS3. If Audi won’t share the 261 hp S3 with North America, the chances are slim that it will export its halo vehicle.

UPDATE 09/16/2010: This review has been updated with new details on the RS3.

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South African dealer tweets about the Audi RS3's apperance at Frankfurt

South African dealer tweets about the Audi RS3’s apperance at Frankfurt

Speculation is running rampant as to which cars are going to be making an appearance at the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show this week. While other notable vehicles have already been confirmed for the guest list, some brands are keeping tight-lipped until the 11th hour.

One of the cars that is rumoured to show up is the Audi RS3 and while nothing has been confirmed regarding its appearance, one Audi dealer in Cape Town, South Africa seems to know more than we do.
In a tweet he posted on his Twitter site, the dealer said: "Looking forward to the unveiling of the new Audi RS3. 2.5L five-cylinder turbocharged engine, 4WD & 335Bhp. See it at Frankfurt Motor Show."

A number of other sources, most notably those coming from Ingolstadt – Audi’s headquarters, have also let the cat slip out of the bag, despite no formal announcement coming from Audi themselves.

In any event, the Frankfurt Motor Show is only a week away so any and all rumours regarding the appearance of the RS3 is bound to pick up as the days leading to the show winds down.

We’ll keep you posted with any new developments.

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Audi could reveal the hot rod RS3 in Frankfurt

Audi could reveal the hot rod RS3 in Frankfurt

When Audi introduced the A3 TDI Clubsport Quattro the automaker from Ingolstadt wasn’t just showing the world how desirable a TDI powered three door hatchback could be, but they were also testing the waters with the radical deign of the upcoming Audi RS3, a car that we could be seeing as soon as September with a possible debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show after being delayed for over a year.

The RS3 is a factory tuned hot hatch based on the Audi A3 premium compact. The highly anticipated RS version of Audi’s popular hatchback takes performance and styling to the next level by fitting the limited edition model with distinct bodywork as well as an upgraded power plant. In true hot rod fashion, the RS3 will be powered by the engine from a real sports car, the Audi TT-RS, combining Audi’s proven Quattro all wheel drive system with a turbocharged five cylinder engine to produce a factory backed 340 HP. However from what we have seen from spy shots and renderings, it looks like Audi is leaving the bold fender flares at home.

Continued after the jump.

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Audi RS3 spy shot

Audi RS3 spy shot

A couple weeks ago we caught a rumor that Audi was working on a RS version of the A3, and now it looks like we may have proof. Although this looks like a tamer S3, reports say that the engine sounded like something much larger than a 2.0-liter turbo four.

The 340 hp 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the TT RS is the logical choice for the RS3 because of its linage with the TT. If the car gets the green light, we wouldn’t expect to see an examples until after the A3 line gets refreshed in 2011. Then again, since we are in the U.S., and we don’t even get the S3, we may never see an example at all.

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Audi RS3 coming in 2011

Audi RS3 coming in 2011

We’ve waited a while to see the Audi TT RS, but now that Audi has unveiled the car ahead of the Geneva Motor Show, we can move on. Audi is doing the doing the same thing...sorta. It now seems that Audi will e trying to get its money’s worth with the development of the TT RS by spreading around some of the mechanical bits to the next generation Audi A3.

Right now the Audi TT shares a platform with the A3 (as well as the VW Golf, VW Jetta, Seat Leon and Skoda Octavia), but around 2011 the A3 will get an all new chassis. The TT may follow suit or possibly borrow from Volkswagen’s BlueSport for its next generation, but either way, the little A3 may take the 272 hp 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine from the TT RS as a parting gift.

Even if this rumor becomes true, U.S. Audi fans shouldn’t hold their breath. If Audi won’t share the 261 hp S3 with North America, the chances are slim that it will export an even hotter version.

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Audi RS3 renderings

Audi RS3 renderings

Last month Audi unveiled the Audi A3 TDI clubsport quattro, a concept car that not many of us liked. But based on this concept, a very talented member of the CarSpyShots Forum designed the future RS3.

The smallest RS model will be powered by either an uprated version of the Golf R32’s V6, which could easily be tuned to give 350bhp or a modified version of the 420bhp V8 found in the new RS4.

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