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.

  • 2016 Audi RS3 by Oettinger
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.3 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    193 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2016 Audi RS3 by Oettinger High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 674632

There are no exterior upgrades to speak of so don’t expect to see anything other than the minor decals on top of the headlights and just below the mirror caps. Ann Oettinger badge can also be seen on the opposite end of the “RS3” badge at the back of the car. Other than these indistinguishable details, the RS3 has remained in stock configuration with little to nothing of consequence of being modified.


It’s the same story with the interior, which is to say that you shouldn’t be expecting anything out of the ordinary. The standard cabin that Audi worked on for the RS3 remains intact, although you can opt for the extra options that the German automaker has on offer if you wish to make that cabin stand out from the rest. As for Oettinger, the tuner didn’t touch that section, opting instead to focus its full attention on the car’s turbocharged five-cylinder engine.


2016 Audi RS3 by Oettinger High Resolution Drivetrain
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And so, here it is. Oettinger spent a great deal of time developing the engine modification so before we get started, let me set the table first. In standard configuration, the RS3’s 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine produces 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Those are impressive numbers that allow it to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph.

The German tuner also has Stage 3 and Stage 4 kits that can produce 650 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque and 750 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, respectively.

For its part, Oettinger developed a four-stage engine upgrade, beginning with a Stage 1 kit that bumps up the power to 430 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. If that’s not enough, a Stage 2 kit is also available. This particular kit comes with a new sport filter, an optimized intake, and a modified turbocharger. Tweaks to the engine’s ECU unit are also included in this stage, as is a new bespoke exhaust system with valve control. These modifications help the RS3 improve its output to an impressive 520 horsepower and 501 pound-feet of torque, enough to cut its 0-to-62-mph sprint time by as much as a full second to 3.3 ticks, depending on the kind of tires that are fitted onto the hot wagon. The car’s electronic speed limiter will also be disabled, allowing to RS3 to hit a top speed of 193 mph.

If that kind of R8-like power boost is still not enough to satiate your need for speed, the German tuner also has Stage 3 and Stage 4 kits that can produce 650 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque and 750 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, respectively. That Stage 4 kit, in particular, is beyond ridiculous as the power it can provide is enough to match wits with the Lamborghini Aventador Superveloce.


At this point, the only thing we know about pricing is the cost of the Stage 2 kit. This particular program costs anywhere from $9,377 to $11,745 depending on the kind of down pipe that is chosen to come with the kit.


Audi RS3 by MR Racing

2016 Audi RS3 By MR Racing
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I did mention that the Audi RS3 has been the subject of recent tuning programs, right? Two immediately come to mind, including this kit presented by MR Racing in April of 2016. You could make a case that MR Racing’s program is flashier than what Oettinger has developed. The former does come with a custom body wrap that harkens back to the old Martini racing livery. It also comes with a new set of 19-inch lightweight alloy wheels that have been dressed in an evocative “Traffic Red” finish. But, more than just the wheels, MR Racing also has a two-stage engine kit that tacks on a nice boost in power for the hot wagon.

The first of these engine kits come with an ECU remap and a custom-made stainless steel sport exhaust system that the tuner received from Friedrich Motorsport. These upgrades help dial up the car’s output to 448 horsepower and 482 pound-feet of torque, slightly higher than Oettinger’s own Stage 1 kit for the RS3. As far as the MR Racing’s Stage 2 kit is concerned, all the upgrades from the Stage 1 kit are still included with the addition of a new TTE 500 turbocharger, high-pressure fuel pump, and a more efficient intercooler. The result is a stout output of 535 horsepower and 517 pound-feet of torque, again edging out Oettinger’s own Stage 2 kit. You could say that these two tuners developed similar programs, except that they went about different ways to get to the same destination.

Read our full review here.

Audi RS3 R by MTM

2016 Audi RS3 R by MTM
- image 667513

This program by MTM, dubbed the RS3 R, is a little older. By that I mean that it was released three months ago in February of 2016. Age notwithstanding, MTM spent a lot of time covering as many bases as it could with the hot wagon. For one, it’s the only kit among the three that are mentioned here that comes with a carbon aero kit. Granted, the kit isn’t that much and only includes a carbon front spoiler wing, carbon mirror caps, and a carbon diffuser. That said, all of these components have been installed to help improve the hot hatch’s handling characteristics. MTM also offered racing stripes and side graphics as part of the program, albeit as extra options, and a new set of 19-inch Nardo Edition wheels.

Sadly, there’s only one kind of engine upgrade that was offered with this program. No levels or anything. Still, MTM worked on the RS3’s turbocharged five-cylinder and was able to extract 502 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque out of it. Compare that to the Stage 2 kits being offered by Oettinger and MR Racing and this one falls in last place, even though the difference between this one and Oettinger’s program is just 18 ponies and 21 pound-feet of torque. It’s really not that much, and if you look at what MTM’s tune for the RS3 is capable of - 0 to 62 mph in 3.6 seconds and top speed of 186 mph - I hardly think that this kit will fall behind dramatically against Oettinger and MR Racing.

Read our full review here.


2016 Audi RS3 by Oettinger High Resolution Exterior
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If you want a power upgrade for your Audi RS3, I think it’s safe to say that Oettinger offers the most versatile choices of any tuner that has a kit for the hot wagon. Say you just want a modest power bump. The Stage 1 kit ought to do trick. If you want something with a little more punch, the Stage 2 kit should accomplish that. And if you want something completely mental, the Stage 3 and Stage 4 kits should be enough to make you wonder what you signed up for.

  • Leave it
    • Love to know more about the Stage 3 and Stage 4 kits
    • No exterior and interior upgrades
    • When does power become too much for the RS3?
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