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Audi A Vs S Vs RS: 7 Differences & Which Series Is Best?

Audi offers three main performance tiers for many of its vehicles – the A, S, and RS models. But what exactly sets these model lines apart and which is best for you? Here are 7 key differences between Audi A Vs S Vs RS:


Performance Level:

The performance level increases moving from A to S to RS models.

  • A models offer more comfort-focused everyday driving.
  • S models have increased sportiness with improved engines, suspensions, and styling.
  • RS models are the ultimate high-performance variants designed for track capabilities.


Engine Power:

The engines get progressively larger and more powerful through the lineup

  • A models – Typically have 4-cylinder turbocharged engines producing 180-250hp.
  • S models – Offer 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder turbocharged engines producing over 300hp.
  • RS models – Use large displacement 5-cylinder or V6 twin-turbocharged engines with 400hp+.


Transmission Options

More performance-oriented transmissions are found in the S and RS vehicles

  • A models – Front-wheel drive or basic all-wheel drive systems, automatic transmissions only.
  • S models – Quattro all-wheel drive, automatic or dual-clutch transmissions.
  • RS models – Quattro all-wheel drive, 8-speed automatic or 7-speed dual-clutch only.


Suspension & Handling:

The suspension, brakes, and chassis become more performance-tuned as you move up through the models:

  • A models – Standard suspension system and steering tuning. Designed primarily for comfort.
  • S models – Sport-tuned suspension with lower ride height. Provides more agile handling.
  • RS models – High-performance adaptive suspension optimized for track speeds while maintaining street drivability.


Styling Cues:

Exterior styling gets more aggressive from A to S to RS:

  • A models – Conservative styling and elegant lines.
  • S models – Sportier bumpers, wheels, and quad exhaust tips.
  • RS models – Flared fenders, large air intakes, and RS badging.



Pricing increases substantially as you move through the performance levels:

  • A models – The most affordable starting around $35,000.
  • S models – The mid-tier priced from $50,000 to $70,000.
  • RS models – As the top tier, pricing ranges from $80,000 to over $150,000.


Use Case:

Each series is tailored toward a different buyer’s needs:

  • A models – Well-equipped daily drivers with good fuel economy.
  • S models – The sports sedan appeal for enthusiasts seeking fast performance.
  • RS models – Hardcore track-ready specs for driving purists.


Which Audi Series Is Right For You?

For most buyers, an A model hits the sweet spot of practicality, luxury, and cost. S models offer substantially sportier driving if you have the budget. RS models are truly special high-performance machines best suited for dedicated enthusiasts. Evaluate your priorities to choose the Audi series that fits your needs.

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