Attendees at VW’s annual Wörthersee meeting in Germany will be treated to a wild new performance concept. The Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro concept builds on the already impressive Audi S3 sedan, and could presage a high-performance RS3 model to face off against the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and recently spied BMW M2.
The biggest change from the Audi S3 to the A3 Clubsport Quattro concept is the substitution of the smaller, 290-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in favor of Audi’s wild 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder. Tuned here to a spectacular 518 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, the raucous engine previously saw use in the outgoing TT RS and RS Q3.
With its larger turbocharger, modified intercooler, and upgraded intake and exhaust system, the Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro can accelerate to 62 mph in 3.2 seconds before continuing on to a 192-mph top speed. Power is routed through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission to all four 21-inch wheels. Other significant performance upgrades on the Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro concept include an advanced aero kit, the addition of carbon-ceramic brakes on all four corners, a 0.4-inch lower body, and an adjustable suspension with revised springs and dampers.
Aerodynamic and weight reduction improvements begin at the front, where the A3 Clubsport Quattro gets a carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) hood, an air blade under the grille, and lower front diffuser. CFRP side sills continue the theme, which finishes at the vehicle’s rear with a tri-fin rear diffuser and gaping dual exhaust. Interior appointments include the usual black upholstery with contrasting blue stitching, Alcantara, and aluminum trim.
If there is a factory-baked Audi RS3 sedan on the way, it’s hard to imagine it would produce nearly 520 hp. But, it does show that Audi is investing some engineering effort into the 2.5-liter TFSI five-cylinder, meaning it could get a new lease on life if Audi decides to enter the ring with the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and future BMW M2. The rowdy CLA45 AMG packs 355 hp from its turbocharged four-cylinder, while the M2 is rumored to receive a 365-375-hp turbo straight-six. Having already seen Audi eke out 360 hp from the same turbo-five in the TT RS, it’s easy to see the S3 getting a major jolt of adrenaline.
The Audi A3 is currently on sale in the U.S., although the S3 is not expected to arrive until July or later. Pricing for the S3 is expected to total around $40,000. For now, we’ll all have to lust over the A3 Clubsport Quattro concept until a real RS3 surfaces.