Audi has shown off its new RS3 LMS, revealing a fresh contender for global TCR racing categories with a number of mechanical, technological and safety upgrades.
Design has taken a dramatic step forward as well, featuring a gigantic front valance with a wide front grille, pumped-out wheel guards, a deep-vented bonnet and a central-exit exhaust under a big rear wing.
It might be hard to see the forthcoming road car within its aggressive shape, however, its angular lights, a toned-down wide grille and accentuated rear end should feature on the new-generation A3's RS variant.
Like before the RS3 LMS retains an EA888 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine under the bonnet.
It's packing more than your garden-variety Golf GTI, though, given this version delivers 250kW/420Nm to the front wheels through an updated six-speed sequential racing transmission (with steering wheel paddle shifters).
Race engineers are able to adjust the newly developed multi-disc locking differential quickly from the outside.
Audi has also pointed out the new RS3 LMS is one of the safest race cars in the segment.
“No other TCR touring car offers as many optional safety components as are on board as standard in the Audi RS3 LMS,” Audi says.
GALLERY TCR Australia round one
These safety additions include a steel-tube roll cage, a six-point harness system, an exit hatch through the roof, strong polycarbonate rear window, strategically-placed racing bucket seats and a fire-extinguishing system.
Seat-wrapping safety nets are optionally available.
Head of Audi Sport customer racing Chris Reinke praised the success of its predecessor and expects the new car to be available in the second half of 2021.
“[The previous RS3 LMS] has been one of the best sellers of Audi Sport Customer Racing. One hundred and eighty cars have been built and they won many TCR races and titles all over the world,” said Reinke.
“The 2021 model is now ready to undergo an intensive testing programme and hopefully it will be available for our customer teams in the second half of the year.”
Melbourne Performance Centre runs three Audi RS3 LMS racers in the TCR Australia series locally.
For now, Chaz Mostert and Luke King drive the cars and currently place third and fourth in the category, respectively.
The next round of TCR Australia kicks off at Phillip Island from February 19.