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Audi RS3 Saloon: prices, specs and release date

395bhp junior supersaloon goes from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, reaches 174mph and starts at £45,250

Audi has confirmed that the latest high-performance RS3 Saloon costs £45,250. The car is available to order now.

The RS3 Saloon joins the Sportback version in Audi’s RS range, with the hatchback being £950 cheaper than the saloon.

Both feature the same 395bhp turbocharged five-cylinder 2.5-litre petrol engine. Power is sent to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and quattro four-wheel drive, resulting in the RS3 Saloon and Sportback both claiming a 0-62mph time of just 4.1 seconds. Audi claims the RS3 is fitted with the most powerful production five-cylinder petrol engine in the world.

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Both models are limited to 155mph, but give Audi £1,600 and it’ll remove the limiter as part of an optional performance pack. Once that’s done, a 174mph top speed is possible.

New Audi RS3 Saloon design

The RS3 Saloon gets the full RS treatment, so large air intakes, sharp 19-inch alloy wheels and an aggressive bodykit are the order of the day.

Bulging wheel arches, there to accommodate a wider track (the distance between each wheel on their axles), a jutting front splitter, a black rear diffuser, as well as twin oval exhaust pipes are all part of the car’s muscular look. LED headlights and rear lights are standard, while clever Matrix LEDs are optional, lighting up specific portions of the road as brightly as possible, without dazzling oncoming drivers.

Engine, drive & performance

In order to deal with the RS3’s extra power and performance, much work has been done to the suspension, brakes and steering.

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The clever quattro four-wheel drive system can shift power between whichever wheel has the most grip, increasing traction and therefore acceleration out of corners. Owners can select whether they want the engine, gearbox, steering and exhaust flaps in comfort, auto or dynamic.

Interior

Black Napa leather upholstery is standard in the Audi RS3 saloon, as are front sports seats complete with RS logos on the back rests. All models also get a flat-bottomed leather steering wheel, while diamond-quilted leather seats are an optional extra. Inside the RS3 saloon, you also get unique interior trim pieces compared to the standard A3 saloon.

The Virtual Cockpit digital instrument screen comes as standard and gets a tweaked RS format that centralises the rev counter and includes a g-force monitor and a tyre pressure monitor. There’s also a gearshift indicator that shows the driver the optimal time to change up a gear when using the paddles behind the steering wheel.

Equipment & technology

All RS3 saloon models come with the top-of-the-range MMI Navigation Plus infotainment system that’s controlled from a central seven-inch screen that rises out of the dashboard when the car is started. This is controlled via a scroll wheel and touchpad in the centre console next to the gear selector.

The system includes satellite navigation with Google Maps, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio and live traffic updates. You can also search for local places of interest. This is all part of Audi connect, which connects the car to the Internet and allows access to weather forecasts, fuel prices and other information. It also makes the car act as a wi-fi hotspot for up to eight separate devices.

You’ll also get Audi’s MMI connect app, which allows you to control various aspects of your smartphone via the car’s own infotainment system, alongside Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Audi Phone Box, which wirelessly charges and boost your phone’s signal via the car’s aerial, is also available, while you also get a 705-watt Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Price & on sale date

The Audi RS3 Saloon is priced from £45,250. Order books are open now, and first deliveries are expected in September.

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