The New 400-Horsepower Audi RS3 Sedan Is Coming to America
Big power + small car = many, many smiles.
One fun game automakers like to play is "Let's Cram A Ton Of Horsepower Under The Hood Of A Compact Car." Why is it fun? Because following that recipe often leads to kickass little cars that are just as much fun to drive as your average sports car. And in the case of Audi's new America-bound RS3 sedan, it seems Audi followed the game's rules religiously.
The RS3 Sedan, unveiled Thursday at the Paris Motor Show, has an engine bay packed with the 2.5-liter, 400-horsepower, turbocharged five-cylinder from the new TT RS, connected to the automaker's seven-speed dual-clutch S-Tronic transmission. In case you need a frame of reference for that number, think about this: the spritely S3 sedan, which does 0-60 miles per hour in 4.4. seconds, has just 292 horsepower. Audi claims the RS3 will zip from zero to 60 in 4.1 seconds, but based on the added power over the S3, we wouldn't be shocked to see that time fall into the threes.
To help the sports sedan handle corners, the RS3 comes with a variable torque distributing all-wheel-drive system and active brake vectoring—so odds seem good the RS3 won't fall victim to the ancient Audi curse of understeer. The RS3's stability control system even comes with some sort of drift function, which sounds quite a bit like one of our favorite features from the Ford Focus RS.
In addition to having more power than the S3 and A3 models, the RS3 is also wider than its siblings. The new compact has a much more aggressive front end, thanks to some massive intakes and a harshly-angled grille. Out back, Audi's signature massive dual-oval-exit exhausts hold court alongside a sporty diffuser.
Inside, the Audi RS3 largely resembles its lesser brethren in general layout, but it does come with a few differences. The RS3 has red and white gauges, for example, because hey, why not. There's also an optional special RS gauge layout if you're one of those people who really needs all of his or her's vehicle information directly up in your face at all times.
Pricing for the RS3 has not yet been revealed, but expect it to arrive at dealerships—including, we must reiterate with joy, U.S. ones—next summer.