2015 Audi RS3 Sportback: Looks to Thrill

The Audi A3 family of compacts has grown hugely from its relatively modest beginnings. Based on the modular MQB tool kit, the Germans have made one sedan model, two hatchbacks and a convertible. All these cars have S3 versions, equipped with 300 horsepower 2-liter turbo engines. But not all of them will get RS versions, at least not yet.
2015 Audi RS3 Sportback 15 photos
Photo: X-Tomi Design
2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback2015 Audi RS3 Sportback
Body styles

The first generation RS3 was developed exclusively as a Sportback 5-door and it should be no surprise that Audi's quattro division is going to launch the second generation starting with the Sportback as well. The overall body shell has already been developed for the A3. It measures 4,324mm in length, 1,404mm in height and packs an ample 2,631mm wheelbase. The S3 version weighs 1520 kilograms with an S tronic gearbox, with the RS3 to weigh a little more.

Sportbacks will be great for competing with the Mercedes A45 AMG and BMW M35i. However, both these cars have brothers and sisters. That's why we think it's wise for Audi to at least offer a sedan version of the new RS3, in order to be competitive in America and maybe China. We can already hear the US tabloid headlines: "This is the evil brother of the A3 company car." or "Vanilla sedan goes ballistic."


Rumors about a 2-liter turbo engine with 400 horsepower or more have gone rampant. However, we're not buying into the whole "downsizing for downsizing's sake" thing. No RS3 or TT RS owner has ever complained about his engine, which is why power will continue to come from the famous 2.5 TFSI. Output is going to be increased from 340 PS to 367 PS, with the yet unknown torque rating likely to be above 450 Nm. That doesn't sound like much, but it's good enough to rocket the next RS from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds.

Will it sell? Is it desirable?

Previous RS3 were limited edition track tool, but the market's appetitive for this type of car has grown substantially. Mercedes expects to sell 45,000 AMG cars in 2014 and of that total, about a third will be the new entry-level models with 2-liter engines, the A, CLA and GLA 45 AMG.

By comparison, quattro GmbH sells about 15,000 RS models and R8 sportscar every year. There's clearly a huge potential for growth here with a hope range of small, potent cars. Other models stand to gain from the 2.5 TFSI engine and its quattro system. The RS Q3 has already been on sale for a year, but hasn't been doing so well. A new TT RS is also coming further down the pipeline and we think it's going to be the fastest car ever built on the MQB platform, rivaling the R8 in straight-line performance.

No Audi model has ever been described as "exciting to look at", but at least aggression will be dialed up. Standard 19-inch wheels will be offered, 20-inch ones being optionally available. Large air intakes like on the RS6 Avant and 10 mm cut from the suspension will ensure this car will be a rally stage refugee on the road. This rendering, created by X-Tomi Design, will give you a good idea of what to expect.

Price and availability

From what we hear, the unveiling of the RS3 8V will take place next April, with deliveries of the first customer cars taking place in July 2015. The base sticker in Germany will be around €48,000.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram X (Twitter)
About the author: Mihnea Radu
Mihnea Radu profile photo

Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories