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Audi RS3: Buying guide and review (2011-2012)

Audi RS3: Buying guide and review (2011-2012) Classic and Performance Car
Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3
Over the past few decades the top German auto manufacturers have been trading punches at the upper end of the luxury performance segment, with ever increasing fervour. The premium hatchback sector has become particularly hotly contested and Audi introduced its RennSport ‘RS’ line of cars to compete with Mercedes’ AMG and BMW’s M range for top honours.
The first generation RS3 made its debut in 2011, intent on topping its segment. Packed with technology that showed Audi was not pulling any punches, its crowning glory was the 335bhp five-cylinder turbo engine. With a howl that harked back to the original 1980s Quattro, four-wheel drive and a long list of standard kit the RS3 was a desirable package. 
A launch price of £40,000 reflected its premium status, with very limited numbers being made available for the UK market its relative rarity was ensured. Class-leading acceleration and a characterful engine made it a favourite among performance car enthusiasts, and five years on it’s still easily able to hold its head high among the newer generation of sporty hatchbacks.
Which one to buy?
Built in limited numbers, only 750 were made available to the UK market making the RS3 rarer than most rivals. Standard specifications were high, including sat nav, and there were also a host of optional extras to choose from. Specific to RS models were an alcantara steering wheel, additional readouts in the digital instrument binnacle, RS logos, bucket seats and styling packages in black or a matt aluminium finish. Other desirable options include cruise control, adaptive headlights, electric seats and a Bose sound system.
Only the five-door Sportback body style was available, but lowered suspension and 19-inch alloys completed the sporty package. While the RS3 certianly looks special, the biggest change over the standard S3 was under the bonnet. The engine was a powerful five-cylinder 2.5-litre unit, producing 335bhp. Unavailable in any other A3, and shared only with the TT RS (and subsequently RS Q3), it gives the RS3 a pleasing off-beat soundtrack with the power to make the most of its uprated chassis. While the TT RS eventually got a manual transmission, the RS3 was only ever equipped with the seven-speed S Tronic, which removes some of the driver involvement but suits the character of the car. 
The four-wheel drive setup allows for the sort of press-on motoring in inclement weather conditions, which would leave most rivals sliding into ditches. This all-weather ability does rob the car of some fun, as well as handling poise when extended on track. While quite effective in normal use, front brake pads have a tendency to squeal and can fade under duress. In real world conditions however the trade-off seems a good one, and the RS3 is able to provide rapid cross country motoring in safety.
Performance and specs
Engine 2480cc 20valve DOHC in-line five-cylinder 
Power 335bhp @ 5400-6500rpm
Torque 332lb ft @ 1600-5300rpm
Top speed 155mph (limited)
0-62mph 4.6 seconds 
Fuel consumption 31mpg 
Gearbox Seven-speed S-tronic
Dimensions and weight
Wheelbase 2578mm
Length 4302mm
Width 1794mm
Height 1402mm
Weight 1575kg
Common problems
• Parts are readily available from Audi dealers however RS specific components do carry a premium over standard items. Thanks to Audi’s top notch build quality and with the cars being so new there have not been a lot of issues or latent faults that have cropped up since the RS3’s debut. Other than ensuring that your potential purchase has been serviced regularly there are only a few things to check for.

• The running gear is very strong and can take a lot of punishment however some owners have found that too many full bore starts on grippy surfaces can damage the four wheel drive system and/or the clutch.

• There are a lot of specialists out there willing to modify your RS3 and some are offering 500bhp+ conversions. If the car you are looking at has been chipped or has received other modifications be aware that the extra strain on the drivetrain may cause problems and further expense down the road.

• Squealing brakes and warped discs have come in for criticism from some owners. Solutions range from disc and pad replacement to uprated items. Not all cars suffer from this, so a quick test drive can confirm whether the car you intend to purchase has this issue or not. Some cars would have had a calliper upgrade carried out by Audi while others have resolved the issue by changing brake pads to non-original ones.

• With low-profile tyres and 19-inch alloy wheels, potholes can damage the alloys more readily, so check for any buckling or other signs of damage. Generally a shaky steering wheel or vibrating pedals can indicate damaged alloys or suspension components.

• The S-Tronic gearbox is a strong unit. Gear change hesitation in certain modes can be resolved with an ECU flash, however persistent issues may require a gearbox oil change to resolve.
Model history
2011: 335bhp Audi RS3 launched in the UK. Limited number of 500 made available. Available in five colour options and with seven-speed S-tronic gearbox only. High standard equipment level included numerous RS3 specific trim items
2012: Due to strong demand a further 250 units were made available to the UK market
Clubs and websites
• www.audi.co.uk
• www.audirs3oc.com
Summary and prices
Residual values have stayed firm, which means that even a 2011 car with 50,000 miles on the clock will still sell for £25,000 and up. Lower mileage examples can command up to £32,000 due to the car’s rarity.
Words: John Tallodi 
Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3 Audi RS3
Last updated: 21st Dec 2015
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Audi RS3 cars for sale

32 Search results
Audi RS3
22990 53995 GBP
  • Audi RS3

    £24,587 £24,587

    Variant name:Sportback ,Variant: 2.5T FSI RS3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic Audi RS3 2.5T FSI RS3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 45000 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
    Prestige Cars Kent-Prestige Cars Kent
    01689 660603 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER
  • Audi RS3

    £38,950 £38,950

    Variant name:Rs 3 Sportback ,Variant: 2.5 T FSI quattro (367ps) S tronic Audi RS3 2.5 TFSI RS 3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic

    • Year: 2015
    • Mileage: 8709 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • 2011 Audi RS3 Rs3 Quattro 5dr


    FULL SERVICE HISTORY + FULL LEATHER BUCKET SEATS + HEATED SEATS + BLACK OPTIC PACK + SAT NAV + XENON LIGHTS + PARKING SENSORS, CENTER ARM REST + BOSE SOUND SYSTEM + REAR HEATED SEATS + CRUSIE CONTROL + PRIVACY GLASS, 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design BLACK / RED Finish Alloy Wheels, CD Player with MP3 Compatibility, Drivers Information System (DIS), Electric Front and Rear Windows, Heat - Insulating Glass, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm, Upholstery

    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £23,990 £23,990

    Variant name:Sportback ,Derivative:2.5 T FSI quattro S tronic ,Variant: 2.5T FSI RS3 Quattro 5dr S Tronic Audi RS3 Sportback 2.5 T FSI quattro S tronic finished in Daytona Grey, pearl effect. Specification includes Audi hill-hold assist, Audi sound system, privacy glass, acoustic windscreen with grey tinted strip and visible vehi, matt Aluminium styling package, door mirrors - electrically adjustable - dimming and heated, leather-covered multifunction sports steering wheel - 3-spo, heated front seats, light and rain sensor package and mobile telephone preparation - bluetooth interface.

    • Year: 2012
    • Mileage: 59418 mi
    • Engine size: 2.5
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £40,490 £40,490

    4x4 Audi RS3 Sportback Quattro 5 Door 7 Speed Automatic Registered 2016 (16 Reg) Finished in Nardo Grey, Front RS3 Black Leather Heated Sports Seats with Grey Stitching, Chrome Package, Panoramic Roof, Heated Seats, Multifunction Display/Onboard Computer, DAB Radio, Satellite Navigation, Cruise Control, Multifunction RS3 Sports Steering Wheel, Park Assist Front and Rear, Aux In, USB, Bluetooth Phone Preparation, 19 Inch Alloy Wheels, Daytime Running Lights, LED Headlights, Audi Warranty until July 2019. Finance available on request - subject to status and terms. Ask about our Company Directors packages. Fully Valeted; UK Wide Delivery Available; Part Exchange Welcome.

    • Mileage: 17200 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
  • 2012 Audi RS3 Rs3 Quattro 5dr


    FULL SERVICE HISTORY + FULL ELECTRIC LEATHER SEATS + FRONT AND REAR HEATED SEATS + BLACK PACK + SAT NAV + XENON LIGHTS + PARKING SENSORS, CENTER ARM REST + CRUISE CONTROL + PRIVACY GLASS. 19in 8J 5 - Arm Rotor Design Titanium Finish Alloy Wheels, CD Player with MP3 Compatibility, Drivers Information System (DIS), Electric Front and Rear Windows, Heat - Insulating Glass, Mobile Telephone Preparation - Bluetooth Interface, Thatcham Category 1 Alarm, Upholstery

    For sale

    £43,995 £43,995

    2016/16 Reg Audi RS3 Sportback, 1 Owner From New, Dynamic/Comfort/Sound and Technology Pack With Audi Connect, Finished In Glacier White Pearl With Black Bucket Seats. Great Spec Including- Audi Warranty Until 2019, Dynamic Package Consisting Of RS Sports Exhaust, RS Sports Suspension With Magnetic Ride, Diamond Quilted Fine Nappa Leather Supersports Seats With White Stitching, Panoramic Glass Sunroof, Advanced Key, High Beam Assist, MMI Satellite Navigation Plus, Bang and Olufsen Sound System, Wireless Internet Access, Audi Music Interface, Audi Phone Box, Reverse Camera, Black Roof Rails, Black Floor Mats With RS3 Logo And White Stitching, Red Brake Calipers With RS3 Logo, 19” Gloss Black Rotor Arm Alloys, Gloss Black Styling Pack, Electric Folding, Heated and Auto Dimming Mirrors, Electric Lumber Support, Heated Front Seats, Privacy Glass, Interior lighting package, Auto-Dimming Rear-View Mirror, Hpi Clear, Nation Wide Delivery Service, Has To Be The Best RS3 Out There

    • Mileage: 3000 mi
    For sale
  • Audi RS3

    £45,000 £45,000

    Air Conditioning, Bluetooth, Climate Control, Colour SatNav, Full Leather, iPod Connectivity, Powered Folding Mirrors, Panoramic Sunroof, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Satellite Navigation, Xenon Headlamps, Electric Seats, Heated Seats, Folding Rear Seats, Lumbar Adjustment, Height Adjustable Seat, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Parking Sensors, ABS, Air Bag, Child Locks, Isofix, Auto Lighting, Rear Wash/wipe, Auto-dip Rearview, Electric Mirrors, Electric Sunroof, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, 2 Keys, Parking Camera, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Keyless Entry, Head Restraints, DAB, Bang & Olufsen, Keyless Start, Automatic Electric Windows, Power Steering, 19'' Alloys, 4x4, Full main dealer service history Advanced key, Comfort & Sound Pack (Bang & Olufsen), Panoramic Sunroof, Main dealer warranty until 2019, Dynamic, Black pack, electric seats, MMI Nav, Black vinyl wrapped roof, side skirts and rear bumper Black RS3 logos and emblems Rear tinted lights, 19'' 5-arm rotor alloys. All usual dealer facilities, Finance arranged, part exchange, Credit (fees apply) & Debit cards accepted, All cars are HPI checked and certified clear, viewing by appointment (as not all cars are stored on site), including evenings. Goto www.carstable.co.uk for more pictures.

    • Mileage: 8500 mi
    • Engine size: 2480
    For sale
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