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Audi’s RS 3 Sportback Is Yet Another Lustworthy Wagon

Posted in Audi, Corner Carvers, Favorite Cars, New Cars by Kurt Ernst | November 23rd, 2010 | 4 Responses |
2011 Audi RS 3 Sportback

Photo: Audi

Audi’s latest bit of twisted genius comes in the form of the RS 3 Sportback; on the outside, it’s a compact station wagon just perfect for hauling four adults and their stuff. On the inside, deeply bolstered front sport seats let you know that this is no average commuter car. Under the hood lies a heavily tweaked, 2.5 liter turbocharged five cylinder engine, good for 340 horsepower and 332 ft lb of torque, mated to Audi’s 7 speed S-tronic dual-clutch gearbox. As you’d expect from Audi, quattro all wheel drive is employed, making sure that the power gets to the road in all weather conditions. The smallest RS model is plenty quick, with 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) happening in just 4.6 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 miles per hour. Despite these performance numbers, the RS 3 is remarkably fuel efficient, with an EU calculated combined fuel economy of nearly 26 miles per gallon.

2011 Audi RS 3 Sportback

Photo: Audi

The RS 3 Sportback is wider and stiffer than a standard A3, and sports a lowered ride height and stiffer shocks. Nineteen inch wheels are used on all corners, but the tires are offset: 235/35-19s are used on the front wheels, while 225/35-19s are used on the rear. Four piston calipers are used for both front and rear brakes, with the front rotors measuring 14.6 inches and the rear rotors measuring 12.2 inches in diameter. Audi’s Electronic Stabilization Program (ESP) ensures that things don’t get out of control, so long as the driver obeys the laws of physics.

2011 Audi Rs 3 Sportback

Photo: Audi

As you’d guess, all this power and handling comes at a price. Audi hasn’t said if the RS 3 is coming to America, but be prepared to dig deep in your wallet if it does. RS 3 pricing in Germany begins at €49,900, or roughly $68,000 based on current exchange rates. That’s not an apples to apples comparison, since U.S. version cars typically sell for less than German domestic market cars; still, I’d expect a starting price north of$55,000 if the RS 3 Sportback makes it to this side of the pond. That’s a lot to pay for a compact wagon, but then again the RS 3 Sportback is one hell of a grocery getter.

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4 Responses

  1. BigRuss says:

    why does the rest of the world get all the cool toys?

  2. Kurt Ernst says:

    Russ, the press release came from Audi USA. I suspect we may just see the RS 3 Sportback here if enough Americans tell Audi, “ja bitte!”

    The deal breaker for me would be price. I LOVE the A3, but I can’t afford to put the TDI version in my garage. The RS 3 version will cost nearly double that, which is the kind of money that would send me shopping for a clean Z06 Corvette, an immaculate Acura NSX or even a brand-spanking-new Shelby GT500 Mustang. If I had that kind of money.

  3. BigRuss says:

    id love to get my hands on an A3 TDI but the better alternative is the same car with a different badge… the Golf TDI…. costs what 15 grand less…and if they bring the RS3 to the states then VW should bring out an R-series 5 door model… that was the draw back on the older R32 and R33 models….

  4. who exactly is buying this car? at a list price of EUR 49,900 in germany, i can’t possibly imagine anyone over on this side of the pond shelling out that kind of money for this car. it’s a cool car, yes, but a lot of very nice cars can be had over here for that kind of money…