In a recent interview with Australia’s GoAuto at the launch of the Audi RS3 Sportback, Audi indicated that they were moving away from a ‘sell at any cost’ business model to ‘broader goals’.  Audi Australia Marketing and Communications Director Anna Burgdorf said that the luxury market was showing signs of consumer stress in that typical buyers of the German luxury brand were deciding not to renew as often as previously.

From my viewpoint, Audi, like its German siblings BMW and Mercedes-Benz were guilty of launching a plethora of new models and those models were arguably facelifts of existing model lines. In my opinion, there will always be peaks and troughs as buyers contemplate an upgrade, see what’s coming down the track and then decide to wait for an all-new model. So let’s see what Audi has to say about their ‘new’ Audi RS 3 Sportback.

29th November 2017

  • All-new lightweight 294kW/480Nm 2.5 TFSI engine powers the RS 3 Sportback from 0-100km/h in just 4.1sec
  • Iconic five-cylinder engine sound amplified through the RS sports exhaust as standard
  • Scintillating RS performance, innovative infotainment, and connectivity technology as standard, from just $80,900 MLP*

Zetland, November 1, 2017 – The first new Audi RS 3 Sportback vehicles are arriving in Australia, offering, even more, performance than its potent predecessor. With a muscular new lightweight 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, the RS 3 Sportback offers outstanding acceleration, thrilling dynamics and extraordinary value from $80,900 MLP*.

The highlight of the all-new Audi RS 3 Sportback is a newly developed version of the iconic Audi 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The heritage of this engine harks back to the legendary Sport Quattro S1 Group B rally car of the early 1980s.

Audi RS 3 Sportback

The new Audi RS 3 Sportback is priced from $80,900 MLP

The roar of the power plant is just as iconic as the engine itself, with its unique 1-2-4-5-3 firing order amplified through the standard RS sports exhaust, with active baffles in the rear muffler that can be activated via a dedicated cockpit control.

The new engine has the same 2480cc capacity, but is 26kg lighter and now develops 294kW and 480Nm. The aluminium crankcase counts for much of the weight saving, while dual injection, the Audi valvelift system (AVS) and a high-pressure 1.35 bar (19.6psi) turbocharger contribute to the 24kW increase in power.

As a result, the Audi RS 3 Sportback demolishes the 100 km/h sprint in a phenomenal 4.1 seconds – 0.2 sec faster than the previous model. Yet despite this, it still delivers modest fuel consumption of just 8.4 litres per 100km.

The new Audi RS 3 Sportback shows off an even more aggressive stance. At the front, the ‘Quattro’ logo sits beneath a clean, modern Singleframe grille, while larger intakes feed more air to satisfy the cooling demands of the machinery that sits behind them. The thin, precise slivers of light projected by the LED headlights and taillights complement the car’s progressive overall design.

Audi RS 3 Sportback

Improved 7 Speed Dual Clutch transmission with a revised interior

The Audi RS 3 Sportback comes standard with a new, lighter seven-speed dual-clutch S Tronic transmission, delivering lightning-fast shifts. The tuning of the Quattro permanent all-wheel drive system is fully integrated into the Audi drive select dynamic handling system, where the torque delivery is distributed quickly and precisely via an electro-hydraulic multi-plate clutch. The RS-tuned calibration automatically sends more drive to the rear wheels during dynamic driving, to ensure ideal cornering balance.

The Audi RS 3 Sportback is available with RS sport suspension as standard. In dynamic mode, the optional Audi magnetic ride resists braking and cornering forces on the car’s attitude, heightening agile and responsive handling.

Red eight-piston brake calipers clamp 370mm ventilated rotors at the front of the new RS 3 Sportback, with 310mm discs at the rear, providing powerful stopping performance inside 19-inch alloy wheels that are wrapped in 235/35 tyres (standard).


Audi RS 3 Sportback

294 kW of power from the Audi 5 cylinder engine

The new Audi RS 3 Sportback brings a host of advanced driver assistance safety systems as standard, including side assist, active lane assist, adaptive cruise control and rear cross traffic assist. The Audi A3 Sportback range has been awarded a 5-star safety rating by the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).

One of the most attractive aspects of the new RS 3 Sportback is the extraordinary list of standard equipment that is offered, in addition to the outstanding level of performance. Key highlights include:




  • LED headlights
  • Audi virtual cockpit with 12.3-inch digital display and specific RS functions
  • MMI Navigation plus with MMI Touch and 10GB HDD
  • Premium 180w, 10-speaker Audi sound system
  • Audi Connect with in-car Wi-Fi hotspot
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Audi parking system plus with rear view camera
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Comprehensive assistance package

In addition, a number of exclusive options packages are available to customers, including the $5,900 RS performance package that combines a choice of four special Audi Sport wheel designs, Audi magnetic ride, the 705w 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and carbon fibre interior inlays.

The all-new Audi RS 3 Sportback is on-sale now, joining its sibling, the RS 3 Sedan, which arrived in June.


RS 3 Sedan 2.5 TFSI Quattro S Tronic 294kW $84,900
RS 3 Sportback 2.5 TFSI Quattro S Tronic 294kW $80,900

*MLP – Manufacturer’s List Price (excludes dealer delivery and government statutory charges)

Bob Aldons is the owner and founder of The Car Guy, reviewing cars, reporting on Car Industry Matters, Car Tech and the world at large.


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