Audi is doing quite good business lately. Model after model rides off the assembly line and into the world. We already spied their first 2018 model, the Audi RS3 2018. This addition to the Audi A series is a compact sedan that is just a little faster than the regular models, hence the RS title. RS stands for “Rennsport,” the German name for motor sport. Most of the public enjoy driving their regular S3 or A3. The RS3 brings the other part of the public the same car, except this one is able to blaze over the Autobahn like lightning through water.
The camouflage patterns slowly peel off every time the Audi RS3 2018 goes for a drive. The latest spy shots are made at the Nurbürgring, Germany’s favourite race track. Here we can see that only the front, rear and lower side skirts are still covered in wrap. Of course, the RS3 is the sportier version of the Audi S3, so in terms of exterior they look much the same. Also, the history of RS-versions of regular car models gives us a pretty good idea how the Audi RS3 2018 is different.
For starters, the headlights and grille will look roughly the same as the S3’s. The sharper look of these parts remind more of the latest Audi S4, though. A good choice, the public always expects a slightly more aggressive look on RS-models. The grille won’t have vertical stripes like the regular S3, but will feature hexagonal patterned metal mesh. The lower air vents on the left and right side of the car’s face are bigger, because the RS needs more air intake for the engine.
On the side you can find the basic Audi RS features: big wheel arches and side skirts. These elements make it look like the car has a lower driving position and add to its tough look.
Whereas the regular Audi S3 has a total of four exhausts, two on both sides, the Audi RS3 2018 has two wide exhausts on either side.
The rule “same as S3, tweaked like an RS” applies too. Expect the rough design lines from the S3, and the specialties from an RS model. This means the front seats will be much sturdier than the regular S3 seats. Also, the steering wheel will have better equipment for quick steering as takes place when driving an RS. Standard interior features we expect are leather seats with the famous Audi diamond-quilted stitching, a heatable steering wheel and driver seat with massage function.
Audi’s latest interior features a customizable 12.3 inch TFT screen instead of regular gauges. Regular setting shows speed and throttle, personalizable settings can show navigation, phone and sound system information.
Also, the centre console naturally features a TFT screen, we expect a seven inch one. It is operatatable by a rotary knob just below the screen.
The Audi RS3 2018 will feature the same engine as the Audi created for the TT-RS. This one is a 2.5 liter turbocharged five cylinder engine. In the TT-RS coupe it reaches 400 horsepower, this number will probably be the same in the RS3 sedan. Still, the RS3 will top the regular S3 with 90 horsepower on its 2.0 liter four cylinder engine.
The Audi RS3 2018 will come standard with a seven-speed, dual-clutch, automatic transmission and Audi’s Quattro all-wheel-drive system. It does not look likely that a traditional manual transmission will be available on the RS3. We hope the quick-shifting automatic transmission will be able to fully substitute the joy of manually shifting an RS car.
The infotainment system will feature things like: an LTE connection for Wi-Fi hotspots, Google Street View, traffic and parking information, news and weather.
Some safety features that will be part of the Audi RS3 2018 standard equipment are: Active Lane Assist, PreSense Front Warning, Pedestrian Monitor, and Rear-Cross Traffic Warning. Traffic Jam Assist with Adaptive Cruise Control, Stop&Go, and Automatic Emergency Braking will be offered as options.
Price and sale date
Prices are not made public yet, but we expect the RS3 to start at around $50,000 U.S. price. This is because its direct competitors all fall in this lower $50,000 range and Audi can’t stay behind.
In Europe the car will go on sale at the end of 2016, the Audi RS3 2018 will hit American shores in early 2017.