Proving that power wars never end in draws, the Audi RS3 has been given the boot while also booting its Mercedes-AMG CLA45 rival off the compact sedan power throne.
The long-rumoured Audi RS3 sedan came to fruition in the halls of the Paris motor show packing a heavily upgraded and 26kg-lighter version of the 2.5-litre turbo five-cylinder engine found in the RS3 Sportback, and pinched fellow recent debutant, the TT RS.
It takes the RS3 Sportback’s 270kW/465Nm then strides past the 2.0-litre turbo four CLA45’s 280kW/475Nm to deliver 294kW between 5850rpm and 7000rpm, and 480Nm from 1700rpm until 5850rpm.
With its carry-over all-wheel drive and seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, the RS3 sedan claims a 4.1-second 0-100km/h – two tenths speedier than the RS3 Sportback.
Given that MOTOR has already recorded a 3.95sec sprint for the Sportback, the sedan could shuffle further into serious supercar performance territory.
The RS3 sedan likewise scores big-bore sports exhaust pipes and pumped guards accommodating wider tracks compared with an S3. Its front fascia also adopts the facelifted A3 sedan’s Matrix LED headlights teamed with a more pronounced six-point grille with redesigned ‘quattro’ logo and aero front bar.
Audi’s superb 12.3-inch full-TFT ‘virtual cockpit’ speedometer and tachometer cluster makes its debut alongside a reconfigured leather/Alcantara tiller.
The sedan’s chassis mirrors the RS3 Sportback, including 25mm-lower ride and 19-inch alloys with 235mm-wide tyres or optional 255mm hoops on the front. Braking likewise remains via 370mm front discs and 310mm rear, with optional carbon ceramic units able to halt the nose end.
Audi Australia is targeting a mid-2017 launch for the RS3 sedan for an expected premium above its $78,900 Sportback sibling.