Here in America, we’ve been waiting a long time for the Audi RS3 Sportback. By the time Audi finally brought the RS3 to our shores, it came as a Sedan variant, sadly. Though, we aren’t going to complain, as we’re happy to get an RS3 at all. Since having it here, it seems to be garnering some high praise from American journalists and enthusiasts alike. Which is a bit surprising, as the standard A3 Sedan is usually the punching bag of America’s Audi lineup. In this recent review from Motor Trend, they’re shocked at not only how much different the RS3 is from its A3 sibling but how much better it is.
Under the hood of the Audi RS3 Sedan lies a 2.5 liter turbocharged five-pot, making 400 hp flat and 354 lb-ft of torque. That’s quite a bit more than the 220 hp and 258 lb-ft of the standard Audi A3 2.0T. So rather than getting from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds, the RS3 does the job in an astonishing 3.6 seconds. That’s supercar fast in a tiny, four-door, subcompact sedan. Surprising to say the least.
The surprise doesn’t stop at its performance either. While the standard A3 is a bit underwhelming to drive, the RS3 is sharp and composed. It doesn’t even feel related to the RS3. Hell, it’s significantly better than the Audi S3, which is no slouch in its own right. Audi has done a masterful job taking a pretty bland driving car and turning it into a weapon. The brakes are a bit bitey and the suspension is a bit stiff, but that’s sort of what you sign up for when buying an RS-badged car.
Inside the Audi RS3, passengers are met with a cabin that sports Audi’s typical style and build quality. Sure, at near $60,000 to start, it better have a nice cabin. However, it’s better than other cars in its class, such as the BMW M2, and it comes with a lot of impressive tech as-standard, such as the ever-so-brilliant Virtual Cockpit.
All-in-all, the Audi RS3 Sedan is a welcome addition to Audi’s American lineup. We love the way it looks, the way it drives and the tech that comes with it. Sure, it’s a bit pricey but it’s worth it for the supercar-level performance and everyday driving practicality. Another American journalist is convinced by the RS3.