If you liked the Audi RS3 Sportback, then you will fall in love with its new sedan variant, touted as the most aggressive sedan ever in the S3 lineup. In fact, it is the first ever sedan to carry the RS nametag. The good news does not end there; unlike many RS models, the 2018 Audi RS3 Sedan is coming to the states. The model was unveiled during the recent Paris Auto Show. Read along to find out more:
2018 Audi RS3 Exterior
Not many people will accept that this model is the first-ever RS3 sedan. This is because the model is based on the RS3 Sportback and as such, the sedan is almost identical to the Sportback with the exception of the rear. By drawing inspiration from the Sportback, Audi has managed to craft the most aggressive S3 sedan ever.
The all-familiar RS features characterize the front fascia. To start with, the sedan comes with a single-frame grille that features honeycomb mesh. A Quattro logo is placed on the bottom part of the grille. There is also a black blade fixed above the splitter; it stretches across the width of the front fascia, all the way to the side air vents. Like the Sportback, the sedan’s grille is surrounded by LED headlights but with a new design. The headlights integrate custom RS DRLs. Buyers can opt for Matrix LED units.
On the flanks, the sedan features flared wheel arches, blacked-out side mirrors and window trim, beefier side skirts, huge brake calipers carrying the RS logo as well as a set of machined rims.
Onto the rear, you will find a trunk lid spoiler as well as a huge diffuser with vertical fins that enhances its aerodynamics. The rear also features oval-shaped dual tailpipes. An RS3 badge below the left taillight completes the sedan’s sporty look.
What’s more, buyers can opt for RS-exclusive Catalunya Red and Nardo Gray boy colors.
2018 Audi RS3 Interior
Sliding inside, you will be met by a pretty identical cabin to that of the base S3. However, the RS3 adds some unique features that are synonymous with the “RS’ badge.
At the front, there is a sportier, flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in Nappa leather and with ‘RS’ logos. Front seats come with a heavier bolstering. Buyers with an intention to try out their RS3 on the tracks can opt for more contoured seats that also feature head restraints. These seats also feature a diamond upholstery pattern. On the other hand, the instrument panel as well as the door panels have RS-specific inlays.
Like the new Q5, the RS3 features the new Audi Virtual cockpit that features a 12.3-inch TFT screen in place for the conventional gauge cluster. In standard mode, the screen displays the speedometer and tachometer but switching it to infotainment mode, it displays information about the integrated Smartphone and that of the audio and navigation systems.
In addition, the MMI helps the driver to choose among three display modes that include a special mode where the tachometer is at the center while torque, tire pressure and g-forces flank the tachometer on the sides. The infotainment system is controlled via a rotary button on the center console. There is also a touchpad for zooming, scrolling and writing. Other features include the LTE module when Audi Connect is chosen; it adds Google Earth as well as Google Street View, information on traffic and weather among others. The RS3 also offers inductive phone charging. For audiophiles, the sedan is equipped with a 14-speaker, 705 watts Bang & Olufsen audio system as standard.
In terms of safety, the sedan is equipped with a host of driving aids such as pre-sense front warning system, active lane assist, pedestrian monitoring system, traffic jam assist with adaptive cruise control, rear-cross traffic monitoring, Stop&Go as well as emergency braking.
Engine Specs and performance
Motivating the RS3 Sedan is a turbocharged 2.5 L, 5-cylinder mill. This engine is capable of producing 400 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque. This engine was initially developed for the current TT-RS. With this engine, the sedan takes only 4.1 seconds to accelerate from 0-60mph. At this speed, the Audi is as fast as the Mercedes-Benz AMG CLA45. Its top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph but buyers have an option to increase it to 174 mph.
The engine is paired with an S tronic, 7-speed dual-clutch transmission system that channels power to all four wheels via Audi’s Quattro AWD system. What’s more, the system distributes torque variably between the axles with more torque sent to the rear axle during spirited driving. Further, the engine features progressive steering, a four-link rear axle and a new suspension setup.
Stopping power comes in the form of 14.6-inch discs that feature 8-piston front calipers and 12.2-inch discs at the rear. One can also order the sedan with carbon-ceramic disc brakes at the front.
Price and release date
Audi is yet to release pricing information of the 2018 Audi RS3 but considering the base S3 has an MSRP of $42,900 in US, the RS3 will likely retail at around $55,000, a 30% premium over the S version. The model will hit dealerships in the summer of 2017.
Top rivals of the 2018 Audi RS3 include the BMW M2 and Mercedes-Benz
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