The semiconductor shortage has hit Audi’s new five-cylinder pocket rocket before the first cars have even reached Australian showrooms, with key safety tech among the unavailable features.
The first examples of the new-generation 2022 Audi RS3 Sportback and sedan due in Australia may not be fitted with the full list of technology initially promised, as Audi continues to manage the impacts of the global semiconductor shortage.
The new Audi RS3 has joined the roster of European vehicles affected by the computer chip crisis, as the company tries to keep production lines moving.
According to Audi Australia’s website, the following features could be unavailable on the new RS3 until further notice: blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, safe exit warning, four-way front seat lumbar, front seat massaging functionality, and a 360-degree camera system.
All of the above safety aids are tech-heavy, and can’t function without an array of semiconductors.
While any combination of these features could be unavailable at any one time, Audi Australia says customers should contact their dealer for information specific to their vehicle order.
Drive has been advised Audi RS3 buyers will be presented with two choices: accept a vehicle without the affected features for faster delivery, or choose to wait until the items become available at a later date.
Buyers who opt to forgo key features will be reimbursed for the cost of the missing technology. Drive has contacted Audi Australia to confirm how much buyers will receive for each missing feature.
Alternatively, buyers can choose to “leave their orders as-is” and wait until the technology returns.
However, Audi Australia says it is “unable to provide an estimated delivery date until the features become available again”, adding that “dealers are assisting customers through this process.”
“A significant number of RS3 customers are electing to leave their orders as-is,” an Audi Australia spokesperson told Drive.
“No features have been deleted from the RS3, but some features are temporarily unavailable from time-to-time due to the current supply restrictions we have been managing, like all brands and even other industries.
“Where some features are temporarily unavailable we give the customers the chance to remove those features and receive a reimbursement.”
Wireless phone charging and tyre pressure monitoring – which became unavailable in a number of Audi vehicles late last year, amid semiconductor pressures – have returned (as of late March 2022).
The first examples of the new 2022 Audi RS3 are expected to arrive in Australian showrooms in mid-2022, priced from $92,200 plus on-road costs for the Sportback, or $94,700 for the sedan – following a price rise in February.
For more details on engines and standard features, click here for Drive’s full pricing and specification guide.
Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020. Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines as a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.