Having cranked up power and performance to almost unprecedented levels for this kind of territory, Audi has seized tacit permission to crank up RS3 prices to match.

The Sportback we tested two years ago was a £40,000 car with no fitted options, and 10 percent is quite a big leap to take in that timeframe for what was already pretty much the most expensive car of its kind.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
Particularly strong residuals should make the RS3 less expensive on a monthly basis than you might think

But the financial case is less extortionate when you look in greater detail.

The RS3 Saloon comes for a premium of just under £1000 compared with the hatchback and for many, given the chance to swap a pudgy-looking five-door body for a more elegantly profiled saloon, that’ll be money worth spending.

Car value expert CAP rates the saloon slightly weaker than the five-door over a typical ownership period on residual value but places both at close to 60 percent retained after three years and 36,000 miles.

In terms of value lost, a new RS3 should cost you £20k over that time – and plenty of considerably cheaper performance options will actually rinse their way through your hard-earned just as quickly.

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Among the RS3’s standard equipment are Virtual Cockpit digital instruments; MMI Navigation Plus with its 3D mapping, 7.0in infotainment screen and touch-sensitive input device; and Audi Connect with a free 36-month subscription, which effectively puts your car online. Maybe the adaptive dampers ought to be standard but, overall, it’s no meagre kit count.

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