Audi RS3 (8V) | PH Used Shopping for Information

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Key issues

  • Accessible for Β£26,000
  • 2.5-litre inline-five petrol turbo, all-wheel drive
  • Will not be overwhelmed by a lot on public roads
  • Could also be too ‘digital’ for some
  • Saloon model solely out there on dearer facelift mannequin
  • On no account fault-free although used values stay excessive


What was essentially the most important Audi ever? Relies on your viewpoint to some extent, however in the event you regard an enormous swap in course as important, then the RS2 Avant of 1994 has bought to be proper up there on the record. In a single warbling swoop, it added thundering efficiency to Audi’s already established tick-list of effectivity, security and high quality.

The RS2’s output of 311hp courtesy of a 2.2-litre turbo 5 appears unimaginable even now, however not as unimaginable because the in-the-moment sensation of being hurled up the highway at a neck-bending price in what was, to all intents and functions, an on a regular basis property automotive. That bought patrons’ consideration. The bait having been set, there was no scarcity of takers when the RS therapy was prolonged throughout many of the Audi vary, ultimately filtering right down to the ‘8P’ A3 in 2011 within the type of the five-door RS3 Sportback. Just like the RS2, the RS3 was powered by an inline turbo 5, albeit with a brand new displacement of almost 2.5 litres. That meant 335hp and, connected with Audi’s legendary quattro all-wheel drive, a superb mixture of pace and practicality.

On the again finish of 2012, the third era, MQB-platformed ‘8V’ A3 was launched. Though there was solely a one-year wait till 2013 when the ‘mushy’ 296hp/280lb ft S3 appeared, RS devotees needed to wait till April 2015 for the hardman 8V RS3. As with the 8P, it initially got here solely in five-door Sportback guise. By this level, the two.5-litre straight-five engine was producing 362hp and 343lb ft. For some time (till Mercedes-Benz gave its A45 AMG a spiteful 21hp hike anyway) the 8V RS3 was the world’s strongest manufacturing hatchback. With a seven-speed twin clutch S tronic gearbox and Audi’s newest Haldex system, it was good for a 0-62 time of 4.3 seconds in nearly any circumstances.

Extra importantly, the MQB platform made it much more driveable than the motorised ironing board to which the primary PQ35-chassised 8P RS3 was likened. The 8V was additionally 55kg lighter, extra inflexible and extra spacious than the 8P. It simply felt much more ” as a driving proposition. Most thought that they regarded higher than the 8P too. These 2015-17 8V RS3s have been nominally priced at fifty quid underneath forty thousand, however many patrons fell for the blandishments of the Audi salesperson and added a mean of eight grand’s price of extras.

A facelifted RS3 was previewed on the 2016 Paris present, launched in 2017 and placed on sale in the direction of the top of that yr, first as a Β£44,000 saloon (in recognition of the curiosity in that format from China and the US) after which as a Sportback. We name it a ‘facelift’, however it was an excellent deal greater than that. The engine was 26kg lighter than earlier than because of a swap to aluminium for the block and oil pump, and using magnesium for the sump. The mixture of a brand new peak energy determine of 395hp (throughout a barely increased rev band), a brand new torque excessive of 354lb ft from 1,700rpm, and a slicker dual-clutch automated gearbox resulted in a brand new 0-62mph time of 4.1sec, and even one thing starting with a 3 if all the celebrities have been in alignment once you have been out launching your little coronary heart out. If, having grown uninterested in launching, you wished to see how briskly it could go generally, for a charge of round Β£1,600, an Audi vendor would de-limit your FL RS3 from 155mph to 174mph.

Six years after the arrival of the primary 8Vs, you may be taking a look at parting with not less than Β£26k for a high-performance automotive that may very seemingly have had a reasonably robust life. Are they well worth the danger at that kind of cash? Ah, nicely, that is the large query, is not it? Let’s have a gander.


Engine: 2,480cc inline 5 turbocharged
Transmission: 7-speed automated, all-wheel drive
Energy (hp): 362@5,550-6,800rpm (395@5,850-7,000rpm)
Torque (lb ft): 343@1,625-5,550rpm (354@1,700-5,850rpm)
0-62mph (secs): 4.3 (4.1)
Prime pace (mph): 155
Weight (kg): 1,595 (1,585)
MPG (official mixed): 34.0
CO2 (g/km): 189
Wheels (in): 8 x 19
Tyres: 235/35
On sale: 2015 – 2020
Worth new: Β£40,795
Worth now: from Β£26,000
(Figures for 2017-on facelift automotive in brackets)

Notice for reference: automotive weight and energy information is difficult to pin down with absolute certainty. For consistency, we use the identical supply for all our guides. We hope the info we use is true extra usually than it is mistaken. Our recommendation is to deal with it as relative moderately than definitive.


By the point it appeared within the 8V, Audi’s inline turbo 5 engine had been an organization staple for almost forty years, starting with the Audi 100 of 1976 and famously echoing by the world’s forests and deserts within the type of the turbocharged Ur-quattro rally vehicles from the early Nineteen Eighties.

There was a 15-year moratorium on the 5 from the mid-Nineties, however it made a outstanding comeback in 2009 within the 340hp TT RS, kicking off a straight seven-year run of ‘Engine of the Yr’ awards from 2010. The Euro 6-compliant five-pot within the 8V RS3 had a recuperation system and start-stop tech to maintain it related and authorized. Its 27hp/11lb ft benefit over the earlier RS3 was attributable to increased increase ranges courtesy of a brand new intercooler and turbocharger.

Some house owners had issues with the engines misfiring and the EML flashing on heavy throttle hundreds. Altering the spark plugs would often repair that however in the event you had the work executed by your native Audi vendor, it would not be as easy or as low cost as when your dad modified the plugs on his Austin Seven. For the Audi, plugs have been Β£18 a go and you would be paying a minimal one-hour Audi labour cost of not less than Β£150.

Three years in the past, one of many large Audi-owner websites ran a ballot to get a sense for the typical age of RS3 house owners. The pattern dimension topped 160, so not exhaustive by any means, however first rate for a snap ballot on a really particular (and never low cost) automotive. The ballot confirmed that just about half of the house owners have been between 30 and 39 years outdated, and that in the event you lowered the age restrict to twenty, the determine rose to greater than six in 10. With out wishing to generalise, this youthful demographic would possibly go a way in the direction of explaining the curiosity in tuning amongst RS3 house owners. Effectively, that and the odd undeniable fact that the RS3 did not at all times really feel like a 4.3-second 0-62 automotive. With linear energy and no large torque hit to widen your eyes, it was simply so environment friendly at accelerating that some thrill component was lacking, tempting many homeowners to inject further drama.

The manufacturing unit RS exhaust wasn’t low cost at Β£1,495 as a part of the Dynamic Package deal, however it did add some burl to the audio expertise. A few of these sports activities exhausts added extra noise than they have been imagined to on account of rattling flaps. If making use of a screwdriver to the flap pivot factors stopped the rattling, Audi would substitute the rear exhaust part. This is a video exhibiting that check. Pitting and corrosion might have an effect on the black suggestions of facelift vehicles’ exhausts and chrome pre-facelift pipes, however Audi wasn’t so accommodating in the event you went to them with that drawback.

Past Audi Sport bits and the standard remapping, fashionable aftermarket mods included new inlet and exhaust {hardware}, high-pressure gasoline pumps, new intercoolers from manufacturers comparable to Forge, and deleting the resonator, exhaust valve and secondary cat. A stage-two tune would take the automotive to round 450hp. For extra in-depth old-school tuning – and spending – you could possibly match big-lobe Schrick camshafts to stream extra gasoline and get a meaty idle into the cut price. In the event you fancied dwelling life at 8,000rpm, you would be wanting new valve springs and retainers too.

Reducing out or jerkiness throughout low-speed driving (generally adopted by a failure to begin for a couple of minutes) or chilly beginning points all pointed to a identified drawback with the gasoline carry pump module. This may be confirmed by a ‘low gasoline stress’ error code on scanning. A recall was issued to repair this by eradicating the rear seat and becoming a brand new module. A light-weight metallic tapping when gunning the 8V was generally sorted by changing one of many oxygen sensors, however it might additionally find yourself being a defective cat.

The 2017 facelift mannequin had twin injection as customary, together with port injection to keep off the carbon build-up that was a draw back of direct injection alone. The FL was even simpler to tune than the earlier 8V RS3 because of its pleasantly accessible MED17 ECU and the benefit with which you could possibly add upgraded pumps and injectors. Some highway testers famous that the wet-clutch DQ500 transmission wasn’t excellent, although. The FL bought new coding to permit it to shift faster and the quattro’s clutch was placed on the again axle to enhance weight distribution, however not everybody was a fan of the gearbox programming in city use. It might be reluctant to maneuver gears apart at low rpm to let the subsequent one have a go, and may be confused by three-cog downshifts from increased gears.

In handbook mode, the field would maintain your chosen gear moderately than robotically altering up when the limiter was reached, which was good, however the motion on the paddle might really feel a trifle torpid, prompting house owners to activate it a little bit earlier than they wished the change to occur. The onus was on you to adapt to the automotive’s foibles. It was all a bit peculiar, as a result of that very same trans appeared to work very well in different Audi merchandise, albeit not ones with the idiosyncratic five-cylinder engine. Some house owners skilled difficulties with the gear selector unit, over and above any uncertainties they could have had about its resemblance to a handbook shift.

The 395hp makes loads of cares go away, although. The sensation that you just have been sitting behind one thing particular began at 2,000rpm. All doubts have been eliminated at 4,000rpm. Exhausting to think about what that motor should be like in a 700kg Donkervoort D8 GTO RS. Circumstances allowing, as much as 100 per cent of the out there torque might be routed to the rear wheels. Circumstances not allowing, you continue to had unearthly ranges of traction.

The exploitability of any RS3’s efficiency often translated into lower than spectacular gasoline consumption. The official mixed determine was 34mpg, however acceptable driving would drop that to the mid and even low twenties. Motorway cruising? 30mpg. Total, you must anticipate 25-27mpg.

The ten,000-mile/one yr manufacturing unit intervals for oil, DSG and Haldex fluid alternative are considered a lot too extensive by cautious house owners who will halve these mileages and instances not less than. The primary oil change service ought to value between Β£230 and Β£380 at an Audi vendor relying on the place you reside, whereas the second inspection and oil change (with a brand new set of spark plugs) can be between Β£400 and Β£550. A Haldex lube change can be round Β£80, with Β£175-Β£250 protecting a DSG oil and filter swap.

After all, non-network specialists can be round 40 per cent cheaper and non-specialist native garages would do the routine service jobs for even much less. In the event you have been anxious about conserving your FASH intact for the needs of resale values as a lot as for the within experience you hoped you have been getting, you would possibly discover some Audi sellers prepared to price-match towards specialists, although most likely to not the extent of Β£100 for an oil and filter change that we noticed being provided by one ex-Audi tech close to Cambridge. Supplying your individual oil since you’ve bought an affordable supply apparently invalidates your guarantee, although it isn’t clear how anybody would discover out about that. Bevel field leaks have been reported however we expect these have been typically sorted out underneath guarantee.

Typical annual insurance coverage prices for an RS3 (which is in group 40 out of fifty) can be round Β£720 for a 50-year-old driver, Β£900 for a 40-year outdated, Β£1,000 for a 30-year outdated and almost Β£1,800 for a 20-year outdated.


For some highway testers, the RS3 was not fairly as partaking as they hoped it could be. On a line with ‘enjoyable’ at one finish and ‘perform’ on the different, the Audi might sometimes really feel prefer it was extra in the direction of the perform finish than its rivals. Metal springs have been the default setup, or you could possibly throw in simply in need of Β£1,500 for a magnetic adaptive possibility. The RS3’s journey top was a hefty 25mm decrease than that of the cooking-spec A3, however though the journey was nonetheless agency (even in Consolation mode with the adaptive system in place) it wasn’t as jaw-clenchingly jittery because the outdated 8P might be. With torque vectoring by braking and the Haldex working within the right method, the outcome was mega grip and iron physique management.

Driving one, nevertheless, you could possibly generally really feel such as you have been within the discreet embrace of another Golf R moderately than the total bushy Hagrid bodygrasp of a Focus RS. That was odd actually, because the componentry for the 8V’s MacPherson strut entrance/multilink rear (a carryover from the 8P) used a lighter mixture of high-strength metal and aluminium, which you’d have anticipated to enhance dealing with. To some extent, although, the notion of a scarcity of involvement was false. You could possibly be travelling at an insane price however the automotive would merely deal with every part with indifferent aplomb.

19in wheels have been customary, and crimson brake calipers have been a Β£325 further. Carbon ceramic brake discs have been on the choice record and have been positively price having in the event you have been meaning to make full use of the 8V’s enhanced efficiency at trackdays and the like – and also you had Β£4,700 mendacity about doing nothing. They have been 5kg lighter per nook and did not fade after a handful of laps in the best way that the steels did. Brake squeal was a problem with the metal discs too. Becoming Ferodo DS Efficiency pads and Reyland Motorsport discs was a really useful repair. Alcon discs additionally are usually most well-liked to the OE ones.

Steering was maybe the 8V RS3’s weakest level. It was higher than the 8P’s for positive, and it did really feel extra jinkable, however even within the revamped 2017 mannequin that had much less weight over the entrance axle than earlier than the steering was not as communicative as say the Golf R’s. Some early vehicles had issues with incorrect rear high mounts knocking and/or inflicting extreme highway noise. There was no official recall for that however there was a TPI (technical product data) be aware about it, so sellers would change them underneath guarantee in the event you requested it.

From a agency like Blackcircles, a alternative Pirelli P Zero R02 in 235/35 x 19 might be Β£160 plus becoming, although it is common for house owners to modify to Michelin Pilot Tremendous Sports activities at round Β£10 much less. You could possibly match 255/30s up entrance in the event you wished to go wider. Pireli Sottozeroes have been nicely preferred for winter use.


The within of an 8V RS3 would not knock you out on first acquaintance. Some thought it was mainly simply an S3 with further Alcantara. Perhaps Audi needed to be a bit cautious to not make the RS3 too snazzy to cease folks operating off with the concept that they could as nicely take the RS3 rather than the costlier (and extra worthwhile) RS4 or RS6.

Nonetheless, in the event you regarded extra fastidiously, you’ll see a number of purposeful however superbly understated RS3 particulars, just like the increase gauge contained in the tachometer – a great juxtaposition for judging launches. The wonderful MMI infotainment system (DAB, Bluetooth and so on) ran on a barely old-looking retractable 7in display. The RS-embossed heated seats have been supportive however Β£795 was nicely spent on Tremendous Sports activities seats with diamond stitching. For moderately extra money and 14 fewer kilograms, you could possibly go for a pair of carbon bucket seats.

Purple accenting for the mats, belts and air vents was out there in the event you felt the necessity to tone up your RS’s visuals. An Alcantara-rich RS3 model pack was an possibility, as have been 4G connectivity and a Β£750 Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker audio system that was an considerable step up by way of sound high quality. The quantity management for the infotainment was in a peculiar spot to the best of the gear selector, making it susceptible to unintended knee operation and sudden ear-busting in right-hand-drive vehicles.

This may increasingly come as a shock to those that have a sure mounted view on Audi construct high quality, however the RS3 was in no way resistant to cabin rattles, often within the areas of the motive force’s door card, the glovebox or the rear-seat bench catch.


The RS3 was visually differentiated from the boggo A3 by its regular RS accoutrements, i.e. gloss black grille, roof spoiler, rear diffuser, model-exclusive bumpers, large arches to accommodate the 19in wheels and tyres and large twin tailpipes. Matrix LED headlights have been an Β£895 further however you then bought the throbbing indicators at each ends. In the event you solely wished to appear to be a throbber from the rear, the usual LED lights had conventionally winking entrance indicators.

Oddly there wasn’t loads of distinction within the cargo area between the saloon and Sportback, however it was tougher to shove your stuff into the saloon’s boot due to the form and dimension of its opening. Creaking from the sunroof when it is cracked open isn’t unknown.


Would you are taking an RS3 over one thing like a Golf R, M3, M140i, M240i Coupe or Focus RS? That may depend upon whether or not you like sushi to fish and chips. Each style nice, however on the proper second and in the best surroundings the costlier selection may not at all times be the very best one. Some would possibly discover the RS3 to be a smidge too ‘digital’ in contrast with one thing like, say, an E90 M3.

We’re not saying the Audi is soulless – removed from it, and the 1-2-4-5-3 firing order of an inline 5 by no means will get outdated, however you would possibly end up spending a good bit of money on liberating the noise to a stage vaguely approaching that of Mikkola’s quattro rally weapon. There are compensations, nevertheless. Though the RS3 was a great distance behind a Cayman S on pure driving pleasure, it was as fast cross nation because the Porsche, and in Sportback guise at any price, much more sensible.

Then once more, in the event you have been tipping extra in the direction of practicality than efficiency, a Golf R was nearly Β£10k cheaper than an RS3 when each have been new. You’d must spend a couple of bob on the VW to get it as much as the identical stage because the Audi on some spec ranges (5 doorways, 19in wheels, heated leather-based seats, DSG field, and so on), however you could possibly additionally say that you would need to spend on the Audi too to get issues that perhaps ought to have been included at no cost, just like the sports activities seats.

Anyway, how a lot will a PFL (pre-facelift) 2015-on RS3 value you? Fairly a bit. We have seen vehicles for underneath Β£26,500, however they’ve all had greater than 100,000 miles on them. For Β£28k, you may get one thing with 70-75k miles on it, however for a mid-mile (60k plus) automotive with the favored choices of magazine journey, sports activities exhaust and B&O audio, you may be over the Β£30k mark. Actually low mileage PFLs like this 12,000-mile Sportback will rush you Β£38,500, despite the fact that they’re from 2016.

The saloon possibility wasn’t out there on PFL vehicles, so you may be into the upper FL worth zone for certainly one of them. This 35,000 mile, four-door within the at all times fetching hue of Nardo Gray was going for Β£38,480. Probably the most inexpensive 362hp PFL RS3 on PH Classifieds on the time of writing was this 52,000-mile 2016 instance in crimson at Β£29,495. The most affordable 394hp automotive was the aforementioned saloon, adopted carefully by this lower-mileage Sportback at Β£38,500.

There’s a complete bunch of vehicles on the market between Β£40k and Β£42k, and one other slew at between Β£45k and Β£50k. The six dearest RS3s on PH have been throughout Β£50k, and all saloons. Learn into that what you’ll. If you wish to trump your mates with out all of the faff and expense of aftermarket tuning, why not go straight to 1 that is already had a number of cash spent on it? This privately owned stage-two 2016 38,000-miler in Nardo has 447hp, 522lb ft and silver leather-based, all for Β£34,000.


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