The Audi RS3 is back on sale Down Under, after 18 months off the market because of production delays caused by tougher WLTP emissions regulations in Europe.
Audi’s five-cylinder favourite returns with a petrol particulate filter (PPF) fitted in line with those European emissions laws, which means fewer pollutants from the tailpipe and a strict requirement for premium unleaded fuel (even though the previous model required 98 RON anyway).
If owners don’t use the correct fuel, there’s a risk the filter will clog. CarExpert understands only a handful of fills with the wrong fuel are enough to damage the filter, which will result in a hefty repair bill.
Audi has the option to import some of its performance cars without a PPF, but the RS3 was only available with the filter fitted. Given the RS3 has previously accounted for around a quarter of local A3 sales, it has chosen to run with the PPF and warn owners of the risks of under-fuelling.
“The RS3 has proven its immense popularity consistently throughout this generation, and we’re aware that many enthusiasts have been keenly awaiting its return,” said Paul Samson, managing director of Audi Australia.
“We look forward to meeting demand for this special vehicle, once again. The Audi RS3 is a contemporary performance car icon and we’re delighted to have it back in our line-up.”
Priced from $83,800 plus on-road costs, the RS3 is available in ‘Sportback’ hatch or ‘Sedan’ body styles and is now offered with a new Carbon Edition variant with additional specification.
For reference, that’s an increase of $3000 compared to when the RS3 was last on sale in 2018, though this is offset with more equipment for 2020.
A 14-speaker 705W Bang & Olufsen premium sound system, wireless phone charging, and Audi magnetic ride adaptive dampers and metallic paint finishes – which would have amounted to over $5000 in options before – are now standard fit.
There’s also a new eye-searing Kyalami Green paint (no-cost option), shared with the latest RSQ3 and RSQ3 Sportback.
An additional $3400 gets you the RS3 Carbon Edition, priced from $87,200 in Sportback or $89,900 in Sedan guise, brings carbon-fibre mirror caps, a panoramic glass sunroof, 19-inch Audi Sport wheels in gloss anthracite black, privacy glass, gloss-black exterior styling package, and carbon-fibre twill cabin trim.
As before, power comes from the company’s singing 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo developing 294kW and 480Nm, hooked up to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic and quattro all-wheel drive.
Audi claims the RS3 Sportback and Sedan can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in just 4.1 seconds.
As mentioned earlier, new for 2020 is a petrol particulate filter (PPF) in the exhaust system (an RS adaptive sports exhaust system is standard), in line with the latest emissions laws in Europe.
The RS3 Sportback and Sedan range is on sale now via the new Audi Australia online purchase platform as well as in showrooms, with three- or five-year service packages also available priced at $2320 and $3420 respectively.
Other equipment highlights include LED headlights with high-beam assist, the 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster with RS-specific displays, a 7.0-inch Audi MMI Navigation plus infotainment system with MMI Touch pad, RS sports front seats in fine nappa leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, DAB+ radio, Audi parking system plus with reversing camera, as well as tyre pressure monitoring.
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