The most powerful model of the A3 series has been launched at this year’s Mondial de L’automobile, and it’s now ready to take a swing at the updated CLA 45 AMG.
As if the Sportback’s 367 PS (362 hp) and 343 lb-ft (465Nm) of torque weren’t enough to satisfy the average buyer, the sedan version comes with an even more powerful (and improved) variant of the 2.5-litre TFSI engine under the hood.
The mill in question is now 26 kilograms (57.3 lb) lighter than its predecessor, and it employs a dual injection system, as well as Audi’s valvelift (variable valve control system) for a bit of extra oomph. Like previous reports suggested, it now develops no less than 400 PS (394 hp) and 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) between 1,700 rpm and 5850 rpm, making it the most powerful five-cylinder on the market.
Powerful enough to launch the RS3 Sedan from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 4.1 seconds, and let it accelerate all the way to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). But if that’s not enough, Audi will be more than happy to increase the electronic speed governor to 280 km/h (174.0 mph).
Granted, the S-tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission has a saying in the vehicle’s performance as well, transmiting the power of the 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system – which distributes the drive torque variably between the axles.
Thanks to a multitude of electronic gizmos, the RS3 Sedan becomes a performer through the bends. For example, the wheel-selective torque control slightly brakes the inside wheels in fast cornering, transmitting greater lateral power and making the car more fluid and stable.
Visual-wise, the new model doesn’t hide the fact it’s a pure-bred performance automobile, sporting an aggressive, aerodynamically studied body-kit that cuts through air like a knife. The side air inlets form narrow funnels for better air flow through the wheel arches, while a fixed spoiler lip on the luggage compartment lid improves the separation of air flow.
At the interior, the car comes standard with an electrically extending MMI screen with a 7-inch diagonal, and two circular instrument dials. Since the car is dedicated to the enthusiastic driver, it also comes equipped with a boost pressure indicator, an oil thermometer and a lap timer. However, if this “back-to-basics” scheme doesn’t appeal to the customer, the RS3 Sedan can also be commissioned with the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit.