Audi 8Y RS3 Buyers Guide By Automotive Addiction – EVERYTHING You Need To Know
Audi’s awesome 8Y RS3 comes in four different editions depending on your preference and depth of pockets, but what does each level provide? We’re here to tell you EVERYTHING you need to know in this Audi 8Y RS3 Buyers Guide.
Audi’s iconic RS3 model has long been the benchmark for the hot hatch and small-saloon segment. Few other models can boast the same kind of ballistic performance, classy aesthetics and sophisticated luxury all wrapped up in a technologically-advanced package. And it’s this unrivalled combination that puts the RS3 in the position of being one of the fastest and most coveted real-world useable performance cars on the streets.
The latest 8Y variant of the RS3 is the most sophisticated model yet, with a 2.5-cylinder, five-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 400PS and 500NM of torque which, when combined with the innovative torque splitting limited-slip differential, can propel this angular projectile from a standstill to 62mph in just 3.8 seconds.
But while this is a statistic enjoyed by all editions of 8Y RS3, including the base model (£50,900 Sportback and £51,900 Saloon), there are numerous additional special editions you can choose from, each one raising the game on the level of specification and equipment that is adorned on the car from the factory.
To give you an insight into what each of these special editions contain, we’ll be breaking them down to their component pieces, to reveal which one is right for you. In the UK, both the RS 3 Sportback and Saloon are available in four different specifications:
- Launch Edition
- Carbon Black
As standard, every model comes equipped with the steroidal RS wide arches housing 19-inch alloy wheels, heated front sport seats with ‘RS’ embossed logo in Fine Nappa leather, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, Audi’s 12.3-inch Virtual cockpit with RS-specific display, a 10.1-inch MMI Navigation plus infotainment system, and the all-new RS Torque splitter.
Above that sits the RS3 Launch Edition (+£6,000), of which only 96 examples have been allocated to the UK and were the very first 96 models to come off the RS3 production line, making this extra exclusive model no longer available as an option from the factory. This unique specification brings a wealth of additional standard kit (which all vary in specification) including the Driver Assistance pack, Adaptive suspension with Drive Select and Audi’s Comfort & Sound pack with high fidelity Bang & Olufsen premium sound system. A glass panoramic roof, heads-up display, electric front seats, Audi’s ‘Phonebox lite’ (which includes a wireless phone charger and a signal booster), sports exhaust, red brake calipers and a gloss black finish to various interior and exterior elements appear too. The top speed also increases to 174mph.
Carbon Black Edition
The next rung up the ladder is the Carbon Black edition. Costing an additional £4,650 from the factory, this mainly cosmetic edition offers darkened Matrix LED headlamps, five-spoke 19-inch matt black alloy wheels, a gloss black front spoiler, badges and grille accents, as well as a cool carbon-fibre finish to the exterior mirror housings, rear spoiler, side skirts and engine cover, as well as the full complement of interior decorative trim panels. It also ramps up the aural experience with a RS Sports exhaust system, while saloon models receive a gloss black roof.
Rounding off the line-up is the RS 3 Vorsprung (+£7,750). Translated to English “Vorsprung” means “Lead”, which is a term Audi uses to describe its top trim specification for its halo-level vehicles. The Vorsprung RS 3 benefits from all of the highly-desirable upgrades from the Launch Edition (excluding red painted brake calipers) plus black 19-inch alloy wheels with graphic print and an electric boot lid.
The Performance Edition is the RS3 that packs the biggest punch. Unfortunately, this highly desirable model is limited to only 300 examples and is only available for the German market.
This range-topping RS3 includes an abundance of upgrades as standard including RS adaptive suspension, a top speed increase to 186mph (an extra 6mph up on the standard car with the RS Dynamic package) and a power increase to 407PS (as opposed to the standard car’s not inconsiderable 400PS). Carbon ceramic brakes with blue Audi RS brake calipers sit behind new 19-inch cast wheels that are wrapped in sticky Pirelli Trefeo R tyres. Buyers have five colours to choose from including; Nogaro Blue, Arrow Gray, Daytona Gray, Sebring Black Crystal Effect, and Glacier White Metallic.
Moving on into the interior, the Performance Edition features carbon-fibre backed bucket seats, as seen in the RS4 Competition, upholstered in dynamic fabric that is also used on the door cards and steering wheel. Adding a final flourish, the seatbelts, stitching and steering wheel centre-stripe are all finished in cool contrasting blue.
On top of these stellar specifications, you also have a range of exquisite colour options to choose from including two solid paint finishes: Kyalami Green and Turbo Blue, as well as a host of eye-catching metallic paint finishes such as Glacier white, Kemora grey, Mythos black, Python yellow and Tango red. A single pearl finish of Daytona grey is also available for those that want a more discerning hue.
Audi Exclusive Paintwork Finishes
For the real individualists among us, there is a plethora of Audi Exclusive colours (similar to BMW’s Individual and Porsche’s Paint to Sample ranges) which are available as a £2400 option from the factory. The Exclusive Paint finishes include iconic colours such as Merlin Purple, Nogaro Blue, Misano Red, Riviera Blue, Venetian Purple, Solar Orange, Olive Green and Sonoma Green, to name just a few…
These Exclusive Paint finishes come with a two-year waiting list from the factory. This is due to Audi typically scheduling cars with their Exclusive Paint finishes towards the end of the production line to avoid any delays for standard colour RS 3s.
RS Dynamic Pack
Audi’s RS Dynamic pack (£5,500 on RS 3 and £5,000 on Carbon Black & Vorsprung) is the highlight of the range of optional extras and comprises Adaptive suspension with Audi Drive Select, RS ceramic brakes with gloss anthracite grey brake calipers, a top speed increase to 180mph and Audi’s RS sports exhaust system.
RS Adaptive Suspension
RS Adaptive Suspension Control is available as a standalone option. It includes three electronic suspension settings (Comfortable, Balanced & Dynamic) plus additional damper control via RS-specific driving modes (RS Performance, RS Torque Rear & RS Individual).
Comfort & Sound Package
Deemed to be a ‘must have’ option, the Comfort & Sound Package is very popular package for RS3 owners. Technology included in the package is a high-fidelity Bang & Olufsen premium 680 watt 3D sound system with 15 speakers and subwoofer, a rear-view reversing camera and the advanced key, which features keyless entry and exitas well as push start & stop.
Mid 2023 onwards…
For a whole year, the Audi 8Y RS3 was removed from the UK configurator, meaning it could not be ordered as a brand-new model. We believe this was down to the global microchip and wiring loom shortages and to allow Audi to play catch-up with the quantity of orders.
From August 2023 the 8Y RS3 was available to order again, however, it came with some changes…
- The RS3 and Carbon Black editions can now be ordered with the Driver Assistance Package and the Panoramic Glass Sunroof
- The RS Dynamic Package is no longer available to order on an 8Y RS3
- Audi introduced two new colours to the Audi RS 3 colour pallet, Navarra Blue and Floret Silver metallic
But rumour has it, and from our findings, these options were only put onto the Audi UK configurator to help sell the existing unsold (cancelled orders) Audi RS3’s, which means these factory optional extras were never available for the Audi 8Y RS3.
Factory Optional Extras Not Available in the UK
Audi RS Design Package – Unfortunately, to reasons we’re unaware of, the RS Design package is no longer available to the UK market. This was an option that was available for the previous 8V generation Audi that was a ‘must-have’ option for those wanting to take their RS 3’s interior to the next level.
For 8Y RS 3s outside of the UK, this package transforms the interior with green or red contracting accents including a change of colour for the honeycomb stitching on the seats, special floor mats with contrast stitching and RS embroidery, as well as seatbelts with coloured edges. The Design Package Plus includes seat corners in red or green and coloured accents on the air vents. The steering wheel is Alcantara-covered and trimmed with contrasting stitching and finished with a centre stripe at the 12 o’clock position.
Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres – Audi originally announced the Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tyres in a staggered 265/30/19 and 245/35/19 setup, but for some unknown reason, Audi has made these excellent tyres optional in some countries but isn’t offering them to the UK market.
As you can see, there is a wealth of options to choose from when selecting your preferred edition of the legendary RS3, with choices to suit all tastes and financial budgets. We hope this Audi 8Y RS3 Buyers Guide helped answered your unanswered questions.
As one of the UK’s leading specialists in Audi RS3 models, we are only too happy to guide you through the process of selecting your perfect RS3, including which of the special editions is right for you, as well as identifying any other must-have factory or aftermarket upgrades you might wish to make to create your individual dream machine.
With a wide selection of immaculate and exquisitely prepared hand-picked RS3 examples in stock at any given time, including some of the rarest and most sought-after paint colourways, you can rest assured that Automotive Addiction will be able to cater for all your needs. Contact us without delay to see what we can do for you today.
Published: 30th January 2024