Due to price negotiations, local market regulations, South Africa’s geographical location, market size, and the COVID-19 pandemic, South Africans wanting to buy a new Audi RS3 will have to wait until the second half of 2022.
“The new RS3 range is planned for local introduction during the second half of next year,” Audi told TopAuto.
This news follows the announcement that the fourth-generation Audi A3, the vehicle on which the RS3 models are based, will go on sale in South Africa at the end of July 2021.
Audi A3 launch timeline
The global unveiling of the fourth-generation Audi A3 happened in March 2020, with pre-orders starting that same month.
The first units were then delivered to European dealerships in May.
This range is also going on sale locally in July – roughly 16 months after we saw it for the first time.
The high-performance RS3 models will now follow roughly the same timeline for the South African market.
These derivatives were unveiled in July 2021, with European pre-orders opening up days after the announcement.
The first German dealerships are expected to receive their units before the end of the third quarter this year.
This means the Audi RS3 Sportback and RS3 Sedan are only expected to go on sale in South Africa no less than 12 months after their first unveiling.
Why the wait
“The current local introduction planning is generally between 6-8 months for most models,” said Audi.
According to the company, this time takes into consideration pricing negotiations between the South African subsidiary and Audi head office, longer shipping schedules due to South Africa’s geographical location, and specification planning in order to be applicable to the local market.
“Bigger markets like Europe, USA, and China would receive first priority of model introduction and then smaller markets follow on,” said Audi.
“Recently, and due to the global pandemic, the entire process is unpredictable – with longer lead times affecting local introduction, especially when it comes to very specialised and niche models (like the performance cars of RS3) where production is limited (due to supply constraints) and bigger markets receive priority introduction timelines.”