The Audi RS3 Was Surprisingly Easy To Build Despite Its Radical Engine


It also has one major improvement over the RS3 Sportback.

When an automaker builds a highly desirable vehicle that’s slated for only one continent, those on the dark side of the world throw their hands up and ask, “Why can’t we get one?” Sometimes the trick works and the awesome new model is shared with the rest of the world, but not after undergoing some major changes. To get the RS3 to US shores, Audi had to do just that. To find out more about that process, Automobile Magazine sat down with Audi development boss Stephan Reil for a Q&A session.

To begin work on the RS3 sedan, Audi got ahold of an S3 and went about deciding just what it wanted to feature on the faster version. Sacrificing some comfort for speed was necessary, but the RS3 is more of an extension of the S3’s hardware rather than a car with a split focus. Luckily, the German automaker already had its own Europe-only RS3 Sportback’s hardware to add onto the RS3 sedan’s body. Despite sharing many components, one of the most important parts of the car is different. That of course, would be the engine. The RS3 Sportback has a cast iron block while the RS3 sedan now features an aluminum unit. Up to 60 pounds were cut from the RS3 by using the aluminum engine and through meticulous engineering.

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While it features the same bore, stroke, and displacement, everything else is different, including the crank housing. Part of the reason it stayed the same size is that things are fairly cramped in the engine bay. Any larger and the engine would not be able to fit transversely. According to Reil, the exhaust note should be phenomenal. The odd number of cylinders and uneven firing order means that the petrol-powered instrument emits sound waves differently, something we can't wait to hear when the RS3 comes to the US. When it does come, its only viable competitor, at least in Reil’s eyes, is the Mercedes CLA45 AMG, given that the BMW M2 is a RWD coupe, unlike Audi’s AWD setup. Regardless, we can’t wait the two eventually meet on the test track.

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