2017 Audi RS3 Sedan Drive Review

2017 Audi RS3 Sedan Drive Review
- Audi hatchback RS3 first version was launched in 2011, as a Europe special edition, second made its debut in 2015, now this new sedan variant has coincided with a switch to the same aluminum-block turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five

- 400-hp output is pretty much exactly the right amount

- the 2.5-liter straight-five offers much better drivability, 354 lb-ft is available from 1700 to 5850 rpm

- no sheetmetal changes, a new lower air intake beneath the snarling radiator grille, sizable sill extensions and a rear bumper and diffuser package

- the RS3 pumps iron in front of a full-length mirror and has a medicine cabinet full of steroids

- standard 19-inch pieces

- a chunkier sports steering wheel, adult-viable space in the rear, microsuede door-panel inserts, quilted leather seats

- Audi’s Virtual Cockpit digital instrument screen will be available in the U.S.

- the RS3 sedan drives impressively well, the engine odd cylinder count and its 1-2-4-5-3 firing order gives the RS3 a compelling aural character

- 19.8-psi peak boost, there’s plenty of torque at lower revs, there’s also a noticeable hesitation as the boost pressure builds

- the RS3 only with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic

- gearbox works well, smoothing shifts nicely when left in drive, the Drive Select system to choose more aggressive Dynamic mode

. shift paddles behind the steering wheel lack heft and feel like the cheap plastic they are

- a clutch pack at the yoke of the rear differential to deliver torque at the back when required

- unique software and a faster-acting high-pressure pump to help sharpen its responses and to make the car feel more rear-biased

- the new aluminum-block engine is 57 pounds lighter than the iron-block unit in the last car

- available reverse-staggered tires give a little more lateral grip to the front end than to the rear

- on lower-grip surfaces, the system could be felt sending torque rearward, never to the extent of making this Audi feel rear-driven but maximizing traction and trying hard to keep the car on course

- little slides during aggressive cornering with full confidence that the drivetrain will pull the car straight

- carbon-ceramic brakes, fitted carbon-ceramic rotors only to the front axle, with the rear still using conventional cast-iron rotors

- ride quality felt a good deal more compliant than that of the TT RS

- adaptive dampers will be standard in the U.S.

- the decision to send us the RS3 sedan is proof that Audi Sport sees America as being vital to its growth plans but without the hatchback version

- expect it will be around the $60,000 mark, a huge amount to pay for a compact Audi

Starting Price $60,000
Vehicle Type 4 door sedan, front engine, all wheel drive
Engine turbocharged, intercooled DOHC 20-valve inline-5, port and direct fuel injection
Transmission 7-speed dual-clutch automatic, manual shifting mode
Horsepower 400 hp @ 7000 rpm
Torque 354 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
Displacement 151 cu in, 2480 cc
Wheelbase 103.6 in
Length 176.3 in
Width 70.9 in
Height 55.0 in
Curb weight 3650 lb
Passenger volume 87 cu ft
Cargo volume 10 cu ft
0-60 mph 3.9 sec
0-100 mph 9.9 sec
Top speed 155-174 mph
Fuel economy (city/highway) 17/24 mpg
Pros fantastic sound, better engine
Cons pricey, no hatchback for U.S., chintzy shift paddles