Audi is having a field day at the 2016 Paris Auto Show. In addition to the revealing of the next-gen Audi Q5 crossover, Ingolstadt also brought a new Audi RS3 to the party. Except it isn’t the Audi RS3 Sportback that we’ve come to love and wish we got here in America.
Rumors began floating around about a new RS3 model a good while ago. The car was teased in a private viewing several months back but prior to that, the RS3 was only available in Sportback hatch form. Now, it comes in a sedan.
What is it?
It’s a mid-cycle refresh of the hot Audi RS3 but moreso, its the arrival of the all-new RS3 Sedan and it comes with a whopping 400 horsepower. The RS3 is also Audi’s first compact RS sedan, ever.
It might be Audi’s baby RS model, but its performance shouldn’t be underestimated since the Sportback received notably positive press. I mean, why not, it’s an Audi RS model.
Like the Audi RS3 Sportback it’s modeled after, the treatment gets applied to the sedan. This means all of the upgrades underneath with the suspension, steering and chassis modification are included. For instance, the axle track is wider than the tradition A3 sedan for improved handling performance and stability at higher speeds. Helping to shave off those higher speeds are eight-piston calipers up front–yes you read correctly, EIGHT-piston calipers–fitted with carbon ceramic brakes. The rear gets traditional brakes.
What else is there to know about it?
The RS3 comes standard with Audi’s driver selectable mode system that alters various parameters of the car based on performance profiles. For instance, the response of the steering, transmission, throttle, and engine can all be adjusted. The mode also changes how the active exhaust performs, allowing for more noise for the fun times, and less for the more mundane moments.
Like all Audis, the new RS3 sedan comes well equipped with lots of luxury amenities to accompany its high price. Audi’s latest MMI multimedia infotainment system is standard with the latest apps.
What’s it powered by?
Ah, yes, the more interesting stuff. The Audi RS3 Sedan gets the same 2.5L TFSI turbocharged engine as the Sportback and the TT-RS. Only, it’s been slightly reworked and an extra 33 horses were massaged out of the force-fed five-cylinder. The result is a stunning total of 400hp and 354 pound-feet of twist, making the 2018 Audi RS3 Sedan a 4.1 second car to 62 miles per hour. Top speed is typically capped at 155 mph.
The changes come from a revised intake manifold, new direct fuel injection with a dual-injector setup, a lightened crankcase by 57.3lbs, and more aggressive variable valve lift control.
The RS3 only comes with a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic with permanent quattro all-wheel drive.
When will it go on sale, and for how much?
Typically Europe is the first to get the initial launch of new models from domestic automakers. But this time, Audi’s focusing on the Chinese market to first launch the RS3. It will later go on sale in Europe and eventually America by the summer of 2017. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.
– By: Chris Chin