Audi RS3 Saloon 2021 review

We’ve driven the RS3 hatchback, and liked it, but can the saloon match it?

What is it?
Is this Audi RS3 the brand-new sweet place for efficiency cars and trucks? With the cars from the course over, like the BMW M3 as well as Mercedes-AMG C63, coming close to ₤ 80k, as well as additionally getting ever larger as well as much more effective with each generation, I ‘d say something the size and pizzazz of the RS3 makes even more sense on our crowded island. Even if it, itself, is well north of ₤ 50k for a well-specced variation.

In watering hole kind, it really feels extra special. Although the RS3 hatch doesn’t control the sales proportions as long as you could envision – 800 versus 400, hatch to tavern – in some way the hangout always feels even more distinct, that by selecting it you’re certainly not attempting to stay on par with the Joneses.

Thankfully, Audi has actually persisted with the five-cylinder format. You would certainly believe the bean-counters would argue difficult for a four-cylinder – besides, the RS3’s five-cylinder swelling just appears in the Audi RS Q3 as well as TT RS – however the Audi engineers are apparently made of sterner stuff and also won that fight.

Right here, it generates 394bhp and 369lb ft, specifically the exact same figures as the brand-new RS3 hatch and 15lb ft up on the last variation. Distinctions between both bodystyles are difficult to find: both split 62mph in just 3.8 sec (0.3 sec up on the previous gen) as well as both feature Audi’s new RS Torque Splitter. This torque vectoring system can send 100% of the spin that gets to the back axle to either back wheel – otherwise referred to as a Drift setting.

Both automobiles also include revised suspension sets up compared to the last RS3’s. The front track has been widened by 33mm, there’s enhanced unfavorable wheel camber and also the dampers and valves have actually been overhauled. Adaptive dampers are currently a ₤ 5000-plus choice, the precise cost depending upon which cut you have actually chosen. For this substantial swelling, you do additionally get ceramic brakes, an RS Sports exhaust and a top speed increased to 180mph.

Where both autos certainly do differ is in bodystyle. The barroom is somewhat longer and also reduced, by 153mm and also 24mm specifically, however the other side is that the barroom’s rear head area is a little extra squeezed. Definitely, any person over six-foot would struggle in the rears. The wheelbase in between both is identical, so leg area doesn’t vary in all.

The drinkery’s boot is still a decent size, at 321 litres. Actually, it’s larger than the hatch’s boot under the parcel shelf, so if you’re not looking to regularly fold the back seats, the watering hole is perhaps more functional. And definitely more safe and secure.

4 trim levels are offered: ‘typical’ RS, Vorsprung, Carbon Black and also the sold-out Launch Edition.
What’s it like?
The Audi designers have done a good task of dialling out the understeer that has actually been a hallmark of previous RS designs: for an automobile where the engine is still placed ahead of the front axle, this one feels much sharper.


Through sluggish edges, you still have to work it rather hard to get it to really bite at the front, and it doesn’t turn around you on throttle modification rather like the ultimate hot drinkeries do, however it’s absolutely a lot more spirited than RS3s of old. Grasp levels are impressive, as you would certainly anticipate, and also if you press hard on the departure of a slow corner, you can really feel the back beginning to obtain some perspective. The enhanced guiding aids. It’s still not obtained the supreme levels of communication, but it does not really feel as leaden as in the previous gen auto, as well as is sharp as well as modern. Integrated with the feedback from the framework, this RS3 offers a more intriguing and engaged journey.

There are seven drive settings (surely nobody requires that several), but automobile as well as RS Torque Back are the ones you’ll wish to remain in most of the time. The car does a good Jekyll and Hyde of being civilised around town as well as on the freeway, the flexible dampers constantly firm but never too crashy, however when you flip it right into RS setting (either by means of the 12.3 in touchscreen or the switch on the guiding wheel), things actually come to life, with sharper every little thing and also a much more hostile exhaust note.

The globe will certainly be an unfortunate area when we quit constructing engines like this. Full of personality thanks to its five-cylinder thrum, it’s sharp-witted and also as punchy as the heading velocity figure suggest. Add in the quattro 4×4 system and also there aren’t lots of cars on sale that would be as effortlessly quick throughout a moist B-road.


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Should I purchase one?
Autos like these might be right-sized for the normal UK B-road, however they are getting expensive. The RS3 tavern begins at ₤ 51,900, and also you’ll certainly want the RS Dynamic pack (₤ 5500), as well as the more interesting paint colours are ₤ 575. To ensure that’s ₤ 57,975 – a punchy figure despite just how much pace is on offer.

Yet look past that, if you can, as well as this is a fantastic addition to the pack. It’s taken the typical RS recipe of outlandish pace as well as built in improved handling – 2 elements that tick most of our boxes when it pertains to efficiency barrooms.

RS3 hatch or drinkery? That’s a more difficult one. There’s no substantial difference so it totally comes down to personal choice. On that basis, I would certainly go barroom.