NYIAS 2017: Audi's Rootin' Tootin' Little RS3 Sedan is Coming to America (and It's Expensive as Hell)

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
nyias 2017 audi s rootin tootin little rs3 sedan is coming to america and it s

German performance sedans aren’t exactly a steal of a deal, but Audi’s RS3 is coming to America with a price well-above its chief rival from the Fatherland. The RS3 sedan, available for the first time in the North America, will start at $55,875 when it begins appearing in showrooms later this year.

That’s $5,000 more than a Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG — which starts at $50,875. It’s also a couple grand more than BMW’s M2, even though the Bavarian coupe is a less direct comparison.

Audi isn’t trying to pull a fast one on us; just the opposite, in fact. Audi designed the new RS3 with the United States in mind and is giving Americans what we covet most — horsepower.

With 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque running through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the RS3’s 2.5-liter inline-5 boasts a 3.9 second 0 to 60 time. Those are class-leading numbers for anything even tangentially related to the premium compact segment.

Audi promises maximum torque available at engine speeds as low as 1,700 rpm, and it’ll remain constant up to 5,850 rpm. It also says standard features will include LED lighting, blind-spot monitoring and pre sense basic — in case your spirited driving gets you into a crash. Available options will include Audi’s virtual cockpit, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, carbon fiber trim, special 19-inch wheels, painted calipers, and gobs of other electronic or mechanical niceties the company plans to announce later.

The all-wheel drive RS3 will make its North American debut next week in New York City. Audi should announce a concrete sales date at that time. However, we already know the company will produce a small number of specialty RS3s for later this year.

[Images: Audi]

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  • Superdessucke Superdessucke on Apr 08, 2017

    Ok. I'll be the freakazoid to ask - will it be offered with a manual? Or is it automatic only like the S3?

  • 06M3S54B32 06M3S54B32 on Apr 10, 2017

    "It’s still a lot of money to pay for what is basically the less practical cousin of the Golf R with one extra cylinder." Totally different chassis (lots of aluminum). Moreover, if you're over 30 years old driving a hatchback you look like a dork.

  • Lou_BC My kids drove around in a 2 wheel drive Chevy Colorado crew cab I bought off a neighbour when they were moving to Alberta. We kept it 4 years but sold it recently due to various engine codes popping up and the engine sounding more tired. It was one of the inline 5's known to have soft valve seats. All I had to repair was new front brakes and rotors, a wheel bearing and a battery. Both kids wrecked a tire clipping a curb. My oldest backed into it with his pickup which required a grill and headlight replacement. We bought a 2008 Corolla as a replacement for my 19 year old. It came with 4 new summers and a set of decent winter tires on rims. We'll run that until it looks like it will implode/explode. My oldest currently has 3 Cherokees (2 for parts), an F150 "Jelly bean", and a Mercury Grand Marquis. Insurance is very expensive for young drivers. That's why beaters can save some money. I haven't put them on my new truck's insurance since that would add around 90 per month in costs. I'll add my oldest to it temporarily so he can use it to get his "full" driver's license.
  • Arthur Dailey I grew up in an era when a teenager could work pumping gas or bussing tables and be able to purchase a vehicle for a couple of thousand dollars and drive it with 'uninsured' status.If a parent advised on the purchase of the vehicle, they would most often point us to a large, stripped/base version, domestic sedan with the smallest possible engine.These cars generally had terrible driving dynamics and little to no safety features, but were easy to work, had large bench seats/interiors and not enough power to get out of their own way.
  • MaintenanceCosts I'll guess: 3rd owner, never did even basic maintenance, major component failed, car got towed from the apartment complex parking lot, no one bought it at auction because the repair bill exceeded the value.The chrome pillar appliques support this hypothesis.
  • MaintenanceCosts I'm generally in the "I want them to have all the new safety stuff" camp, but new cars are both too fast and too isolating these days. They mask speed enough that a new driver can get way in over his head without really realizing he's even going that fast. This is especially a concern with my youngest, who wants to do everything he does faster. (He has zero fear tearing down hills at 25 mph on his little 20" wheel bike.) I'm hoping for something that is slow and communicates speed well, although I'm not quite sure there is any such thing in today's market.
  • KOKing I test-drove a used Equus Ultimate (the one with all the back seat doodads) that was a trade-in at a Ford dealer, and although it was VERY nice to be in as a Lexus LS with Ultra Luxury, it was supposedly in a minor fender-bender that probably wasn't repaired correctly (like a pinched bus cable or something?), and random features didn't work at all.I think this car suffered the same problem in the US that the VW Phaeton did, and probably would've done better if it was badged a Genesis from the get-go.