If you’re exited by the prospect of the five-cylinder powerhouse in the new Audi TT RS, but have a need for more than two doors and a small interior, you might want to get in touch with Audi. At the Paris auto show on Thursday, the German automaker yanked the covers off a fantastically aggressive RS3 sedan, packing the same five-pot dynamo from the TT RS.
In essence, this RS3 is to the Audi TT RS as the less-potent Audi S3 is to the Volkswagen Golf R. In the S3, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and knife-sharp dual-clutch transmission is purloined from the Golf R; in the new RS3, it appears the transmission and engine is lifted from the TT RS.
In the compact sedan, as in the TT RS, the 2.5-liter five-cylinder spits out a tremendous 400 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque, providing enough oomph to crack-off a claimed 4.1-second 0-60 run and a limited top speed of 155 mph; 174 mph is available if you buy an optional package. As independent testing has proven time and time again, this is likely a very conservative figure. We wouldn’t be surprised to see that 0-60 time dip beneath the four-second mark.
To let everyone else know you’re packing heat, Audi puffed out the RS3’s front and rear track, widening it by an impressive 0.8-inch in the front and 0.6-inch in the rear, when compared to the milquetoast A3. Of course, to shroud all of this extra axle, the car sports aggressive fender flares, giving the RS3 a properly mean stance.
Along with the widened body, the RS3 features an entirely new suite of aerodynamic components, including a modified front fascia, rear decklid, and side skirts. With the uprated performance suspension, the car drops by one inch when compared to a standard A3.
With regard to other go-fast bits, it’s business as usual. The brakes are beefier, the suspension is stiffer, the steering is sharper, and tires are grippier.
On the inside, the cockpit receives the standard RS treatment, including aggressive performance seats, carbon-fiber pieces, and brushed aluminum surfaces.
The U.S. market has traditionally not received many of Audi’s RS models, and the last RS3 was no different. Now, Audi is singing a different tune, announcing U.S. cars will arrive in summer 2017.