Audi RS3 production halted due to WLTP, set to resume in 2019

New emissions regulations force German marque to push pause on hyper hatch and sedan, though local arm says current stock should satisfy demand in the interim.

Audi has stopped production of the RS3 Sportback and sedan due to the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), with the models currently unavailable to order in Australia.

The brand’s local arm confirmed the news this week with CarAdvice, after a keen-eyed reader noticed the Sportback (hatch) and sedan versions of Audi’s hottest small car were no longer listed on the Australian website.

Shaun Cleary, corporate communications manager for Audi’s local division, said:

“The Audi RS3 Sportback and Sedan models are currently unavailable to order in Australia, due to the implementation of the new Worldwide Harmonised Light-Duty Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) standards in markets with EU-homologation.We anticipate RS3 production will resume in early 2019. However, we also expect that stock levels of the RS 3 Sportback and Sedan will ensure we are still able to meet demand for several months.”

Audi is the latest in a string of European manufacturers to be affected by the new WLTP emissions standards, following parent Volkswagen and fellow VW Group brand Seat, along with Peugeot – the latter halting production of the 308 GTi hot hatch to revise the model’s high-output powertrain to comply with the new regulations.

You can read more about the WLTP regulations and their implications on carmakers in Australia here.

Currently, power in the RS3 comes from a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo making 294kW of power and 480Nm of torque, sent to the ground via a quattro all-wheel drive system via a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission.

Audi claims the hyper hatch and sedan can complete the 0-100 dash in just 4.1 seconds, while fuel consumption is rated at 8.3L/100km (sedan) and 8.4L/100km (Sportback).

It will be interesting to see if the WLTP changes force Audi to change the engine’s outputs. Stay tuned.