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The Audi RS3 LMS Is One Of The Cheapest Ways To Get A Real Racecar

Illustration for article titled The Audi RS3 LMS Is One Of The Cheapest Ways To Get A Real Racecar

Hot on the wheels of Audi’s announcement of the fast, quintuple-banger RS3 sedan, Audi has just revealed the RS3 LMS racecar based on the new RS3 sedan. It looks like the RS3's evil supervillian version, and, at around $110-$130,000, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get into a genuine racecar.

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The Audi R3 LMS is targeted at the TCR (Touring Car Racing) international category of motorsport, and conforms to that series regulations.

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In accordance with TCR regs, the RS3 LMS has a 2-liter four-cylinder inline engine making 330 HP, 70 (and one cylinder) less than the road-going version, though it’s a safe bet that those 330 horses will get a lot more exercise than their daily-commuting 400 brothers.

Illustration for article titled The Audi RS3 LMS Is One Of The Cheapest Ways To Get A Real Racecar

The racecar version of the RS3 also has just a single racing bucket, a full roll cage, and everything extraneous stripped out of the interior. It’s actually a bit slower than the street-legal version, getting to 62 MPH in 4.5 seconds and topping out at 149 MPH, but the grip and handling are dramatically better. Like, racecar-better.

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The bodywork is very modified, with dramatically flared fenders, a big-ass wing, heat-extracting hood, side sills, and that red-and-black paint job that would serve well to make this a Spiderman-mobile, if Spiderman had any money, which he doesn’t.

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The RS3 LMS is expected to do well in the relatively low-barrier-to-entry TCR series, so this could become a first, entry-level racecar for many teams.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

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DISCUSSION

Are you serious? “One of the cheapest?”

I can think of many, many other race cars for a whole lot less than $110k-$130k, many with more performance, such as:

‘08 Indy Lights -- $95k

‘07 Lola F3 -- $88k

‘79 Historic Chevron Formula Atlantic -- $55k

‘05 Formula Mazda -- $35k

‘93 Reynard F3 -- $19k

The list goes on.

Or, you could get the brand-new Mazda MX-5 Cup car, for which there is already a pro racing series, for $54k.