Audi dealers in Australia have been told to stop taking new orders for the RS3 hot hatch and sedan as wait times stretch for up to two years.
Customer orders for the 2023 Audi RS3 were suspended in Australia due to high demand for Audi’s most expensive high-performance compact car.
Audi Australia has confirmed it is no longer taking orders for the RS3 hatch and sedan ranges seven months after arriving in showrooms due to a mix of high customer demand and limited stock.
The company says it has received enough customer orders to see it through “at least” the end of this year – however, dealers have been wooed by drive report longer wait times, ranging from 18 months to two years before the break on new orders.
“It’s an extremely popular vehicle. We have quite a lot of customer demand in Australia and there is a wait for these special cars that is lengthy compared to other models,” said Matthew Dale, Audi Australia national product manager drive.
Asked when orders for the Audi RS3 could resume – taking deposits for 2024 – Mr Dale said: “It’s all based on… global production and also in other markets.
“Being number six (for sales of Audi Sport or RS models worldwide), given our global ranking, we have quite a lot of traction when it comes to the production of that particular model or the Audi Sport models.
“But there are much larger markets like the European markets, the US and the UK that obviously have a larger percentage of that production.
“So if production ramps up or (in) those markets demand drops slightly, we’ll see. I can’t give an absolutely definitive time for this. But we will do our best to ensure customers get cars in a reasonable time frame,” said Mr Dale drive.
Audi Australia has not confirmed how many orders it currently holds for the RS3 range or how many cars are allotted to Australia each year. drive understands that the order pause was applied in December 2022.
Audi reported 2110 examples of the A3 as being sold locally in 2022. It’s unclear exactly how many RS3s there were – but historically they made up 15 per cent of A3 sales, with the less powerful four-cylinder S3 accounting for around 25 per cent of the model mix .
The pause in Audi RS3 orders in Australia comes as spy photos emerge in Europe of a facelifted Audi A3, S3 and RS3 range that are in testing and reports overseas are speculating will arrive sometime in 2024 in European showrooms will appear.
This would coincide with the current A3’s fourth birthday in Europe – although production delays have meant it didn’t go on sale in Australia until early 2022, two years after Europe.
Audi Australia would not be drawn on arrival time for the updated A3 range, but executives acknowledged a facelift is in development and it would arrive in Australia “easily” after Europe.
“The thing is [the] For us, the A3 has only just come back onto the market as a model [after a year between old and new generations, due to the delayed new model]’ said Mr Dale drive.
“So the facelift in Europe will come at a certain point [RS3’s] Life cycle and we’ll pick up on that facelift a little later.
“But in terms of timing, we don’t have a definitive time at this point. But we would try to balance this in some way with how we communicate with our customers [about the status of order books] to ensure… transparency.”
As previously reported by drivethe current Audi RS3 will probably be the last one with a petrol engine, since its successor is not scheduled to switch to electric drive until 2028 or 2029.
Meanwhile, the future of the current car is in shambles beyond the middle of this decade, as it’s unclear whether its 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine will meet Europe’s tough new Euro 7 emissions regulations, which are expected to come into force in 2025 will, or 2026.
Audi has previously hinted the engine will meet the new requirements, but comments from sister company Cupra’s boss suggest that may not be the case – or that significant upgrades that alter its performance may be needed.
Pricing for the Audi RS3 currently starts at $91,400 plus road for the RS3 Sportback and $93,900 plus road for the sedan.
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