December 7, 2022

The Audi RS3 was the marque’s first crack at a mega-hatch, highlighting Audi’s ambitions to take a slice of the efficiency hatch pie. Eminently tunable in addition to a superb secondhand purchase, what must you search for when you fancy shopping for the second technology 8V mannequin?

Information from Quick Automotive. Phrases: Wealthy Gooding.

The Ur-Quattro’s legendary standing is assured, however we guess Audi didn’t even dare to think about that its all-conquering rally weapon would spawn entire households of all-wheel drive sporting machines. But that’s precisely what it’s performed. The Nineteen Nineties S2 coupé began the ball rolling, the 311bhp Porsche-fettled RS2 (RS = Racing Sport) laying the foundations for the super-swift property automobile. The primary Audi scorching hatchback, the S3 arrived in 1999, and has been adopted by mega-powerful saloons, estates, and SUVs. Presently numbering 15 S and RS-badged vehicles, that sporting lineage has finally resulted within the R8 supercar, a really good distance from these first snowbank-sliding Ur-Quattros, however a descendant none the much less.

Audi RS3 Historical past

The primary RS3 got here to the UK in April 2011. Packing a 335bhp turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the TT RS sports activities coupé, the RS3 turned up the wick on the 261bhp S3 fairly significantly. Its 332lb ft of torque noticed it scamper to 60mph in simply 4.6 seconds – little doubt helped by its normal launch management system – and an S-Tronic double-clutch gearbox and everlasting ‘quattro’ all-wheel drive system (really a Volkswagen 4Motion-derived Haldex system with Audi fettling) helped it grip the roads like a limpet. Solely out there as a five-door Sportback, the RS3 ‘8P’ signalled that Audi had severe scorching hatch ambitions, constructing a automobile with extra firepower than the all-wheel drive Golf R. Initially solely 500 RS3s have been UK-bound, however so well-liked was it, that one other 250 of the £39,930 vehicles quickly adopted.

The RS3 ‘8V’ hit the streets in 2015. The components have been very related – a warbly and deliciously sounding five-pot engine, all-wheel drive, Sportback physique – however an influence bump to 362bhp that eclipsed that of the hardcore Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG. This time, 343lb ft of torque helped 0-62 occasions tumble to 4.3 seconds earlier than the brand new pocket rocket romped onto a high velocity of 155mph. House owners may ask for the limiter to be eliminated, liberating a very High Trumps-beating 174mph the place circumstances allowed – in a five-door hatch! Non-compulsory weaponry included magnetic dampers and wider 255/30 entrance rubber. Extra driving enjoyable was additionally assured this time round, with the Quattro system dialled to push upto 100% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels.

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A large-reaching replace in 2017 heralded the arrival of the good-looking £45,250 three-box RS3 Saloon, in addition to a hike in energy to 394bhp. Now firmly beneath the Audi Sport umbrella, the up to date 8V RS3s gained enhanced tech together with a 12.3in totally digital Audi Digital Cockpit driver’s show. Audi Sport Version variations arrived in 2019, the £50,285 RS3 Sportback and £51,285 RS3 Saloon that includes a black styling pack and gloss anthracite 19in alloy wheels. Inside, carbon inlays and a panoramic glass sunroof signified the particular version.

A brand-new ‘8Y’ model of the RS3 seems to be set to debut later in 2021. Though it packs the identical 394bhp beneath its extra muscular physique, torque is now 369lb ft, promising a scorching 0-62mph tempo of simply 3.8 seconds. The most important speaking level is the brand new RS Torque Splitter, although, which makes its debut. Distributing drive torque between the rear wheels in a completely variable method, it’s obtained mega-hatch aficionados and efficiency Audi followers very popular beneath the collar. The massive query is: will it drift?

What to look out for on the Audi RS3 8V

Based mostly on sorted Audi and Volkswagen Group mechanicals with a confirmed pedigree, RS3s supply little to catch out the unwary. As with most used vehicles, an entire service historical past is value its weight in gold. Common upkeep by a specialist is a should, although, particularly in relation to the Haldex all-wheel drive techniques and DQ500 S-Tronic gearboxes. Interiors and physique work current no notable points and the engines can deal with enormous energy outputs, so there are many causes to get on the market and get your self an all-wheel drive mega-hatch!

Engine & transmission

The RS3’s 2,480cc engine is usually robust and may cope with huge mileages. Winner of the Engine of The Yr award for the two.0-litre-2.5-litre class for a large eight years working, the 362bhp ‘CZGB’ unit first appeared in 2015-2017 RS3s, based mostly on the ‘CEPA’ engine put in within the 2009-2014 ‘8J’ TT RS. These can undergo from a build-up of carbon within the forged aluminium-silicon alloy cylinder head, particularly across the valves. The 394bhp ‘DAZA’ arrived in 2017, however each have an virtually unburstable repute so long as they’re recurrently serviced and maintained. “Having constructed a lot of buyer autos now working the TTE700 turbochargers, the ‘DAZA’ motor within the later 2017-2018 (67-68 plate) vehicles is an absolute gem of an engine,” confirms Brown. “Offering they see common upkeep, they need to final properly.”

Some vehicles might have seen an replace for the gas pump module carried out by an Audi retailer, which replaces the raise pump module beneath the rear seat. If this hasn’t been performed, fixed slicing out at low speeds or when idling, or a refusal to start out for round 10 minutes would be the tell-tale indicators, together with a low gas stress error code.

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Audi RS3

The quattro everlasting all-wheel drive system put in on smaller Audis is in truth a Haldex multi-plate clutch association which sends energy to the rear wheels. The seven-speed DQ500 dual-clutch gearbox was designed for prime efficiency engine outputs with as much as 443lb ft, so it ought to very simply deal with the RS3’s gobfuls of torque. Test that each one gears have interaction cleanly, and look ahead to different frequent points that embrace defective Haldex clutch system pumps. These give the sport away by repeatedly illuminating the traction management mild. Leaks across the bevel packing containers or drive shafts needs to be changed beneath guarantee on later vehicles.

Nevertheless, no matter you do, don’t skimp on servicing and upkeep because it’s a false economic system. “The DQ500 gearbox is an efficient, robust unit; nonetheless it does require the S-Tronic oil and filter companies to be performed routinely,” states Brown. “Selecting up a automobile that has had these forgotten or omitted could possibly be pricey. Nevertheless, typically, so long as they’ve been properly serviced and pushed with a average quantity of mechanical sympathy, we don’t see many main points with them. The prop shaft coupling bolts generally is a weak spot for individuals who partake in common ‘launches’ – for which we provide an upgraded ARP prop bolt package.”


The usual suspension is cheap and never notably problematic, in response to Brown. “Many RS3 homeowners go for a thicker rear anti-roll bar to dial out just a little little bit of the understeer that these vehicles can see,” he says. In the event you plan to recurrently enterprise on monitor together with your quick Audi, you could select to think about extra complete suspension upgrades. “A whole coilover package can be a welcome addition for quick highway use and past,” Brown states. If the rear of the automobile sounds noisy, examine that the rear shock absorber mounts have been modified, as early vehicles have been fitted with the wrong gadgets in the course of the construct levels.

“The vehicles include an honest set of calipers from the manufacturing unit,” Brown reviews. “Nevertheless they’re fitted up entrance with non-handed discs, which frequently end in them overheating one aspect on the entrance discs when used on the monitor.” This may be sorted by becoming upgraded discs. As with different efficiency machines, examine the alloys for indicators of corrosion or harm. The within fringe of the entrance tyres can put on very badly and is a recognized fault. Mismatched rubber and tyres from the extra finances finish of the size also needs to elevate eyebrows.



Being an Audi, the RS3 is constructed to a really excessive normal and that is readily confirmed by Brown, who reviews no main points with the interiors of the all-wheel drive scorching hatch. “There actually is nothing to report. As with most VW/Audi Group vehicles, they’re pretty properly put along with only a few reviews {of electrical} gremlins or ‘match and end’ points.”


Audis include a 12-year anti-perforation guarantee as normal in addition to a three-year paint assure and points are usually few and much between. The flared wheel arches can appeal to stone chips and, as with every used automobile, it’s wise to examine for any uneven panel gaps in addition to apparent inconsistencies within the paintwork, which could level to hidden accident harm. Total although, the RS3’s physique appears to ask only a few points. “We’re not likely within the physique work sport, however we’ve not likely seen any notable points on these fashions that we’d have any trigger for concern on,” says Al Brown, product and commerce supervisor at Volkswagen and Audi half specialists Superior GTI Ltd.

Audi RS3 servicing & upkeep

With any excessive efficiency automobile, common serving and upkeep not solely protects the lifetime of the automobile, but in addition ensures it holds its worth. A minor service each six months for vehicles that placed on the miles prices round £179 from an Audi or VW specialist reminiscent of PSC. An annual service which incorporates oil and filter modifications can price £260, with a complete 24-month inspection round £375.

Brown factors out some specifics that can want their situation to be maintained to be in tip-top order. “The Haldex all-wheel drive system wants common care. Removing of the Haldex pump and cleansing the pump strainer is important because the fifth-generation Haldex system used on these vehicles doesn’t have a replaceable filter like the sooner generations do. Additionally carry on high of standard oil modifications and the DQ500 S-Tronic gearbox; it’s closely really useful to maintain this with a view to hold the automobile in good situation.”

In the event you ought to discover the RS3’s stopping-power wanting – and we very a lot doubt that you’ll – an entire Tarox entrance and rear disc improve with Ferodo DS Efficiency pads will price within the area of £1,834 from a specialist reminiscent of Superior GTI.

Audi RS3

High Mods

  • Forge Motorsport turbo inlet pipe
  • Intercooler improve (APR/Forge/Wagner)
  • Milltek or Scorpion secondary exhaust catalyst deletes
  • Vagbremtechnic 362mm brake disc set with upgraded pads
  • 034Motorsport rear anti-roll bar

Tech Spec: Audi RS3 8V

Engine: 2,480cc

Max energy: 394bhp @ 7,000rpm

Max torque: 354lb ft @ 5,850rpm

Transmission: 7-speed DSG dual-clutch

Max velocity: 155mph

0-60mph: 4.1 seconds