Audi’s RS3 Sedan is spotted putting in some development miles at Germany’s Nurburgring Nordschliefe test track – and it’s gunning hard.
Audi is gearing up to reveal its first-ever RS3 sedan later this year, and it’s shaping up to be one exceptionally brisk four-door.
Video captured of a camouflaged Audi RS3 sedan prototype shows it carrying huge speed through the Nurburgring Nordschliefe’s many corners, hopping kerbs and generally being driven like a racecar. With at least 270kW under its bonnet it was always bound to be fast, but this spy vid suggests the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 has something to worry about.
Expected to make its global debut later this year, potentially at the Paris Motor Show in October, the RS3 Sedan should find its way into Australian showrooms next year – and for Audi Australia, it could be a major money-maker.
So far this year just under 30 percent of Audi A3 hatchbacks sold in Australia are RS3s, with the high-performance $78,900 five-cylinder hyper hatch accounting for roughly 15 percent of all A3s – across hatch, sedan and convertible bodystyles – sold here in 2016.
Looking at the A3 sedan, the S3 variant is the most popular by far. With the hatch/sedan sale split currently around 55 percent and 45 percent respectively, adding an RS3 sedan to the A3 range could see the sportiest and most expensive model account for nearly half of all A3 sales volume in Australia
But what can we expect from the RS3 sedan? Rumours abound of a power output in the region of 295-300kW, but you can count on at least 270kW of power and 465Nm of twist if Audi just transplants the 2016 RS3 Sportback’s turbo five-cylinder powertrain into the sedan without any changes.
Manual-lovers may be disappointed though – like the RS3 Sportback that’s currently on sale, we don’t expect the sedan will offer anything other than a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch automatic feeding its clever torque-vectoring quattro AWD driveline.
You can also expect a modest premium for the sedan. Audi charges an extra $2300 if you go for the Audi S3 sedan instead of the S3 Sportback, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the RS3 sedan carried a similar impost over its hatchback sibling.
Performance? It’s too early to say, but the RS3 Sportback launches to 100km/h in just 4.3 seconds – similar numbers for the sedan version are anticipated.
However, Audi may give the RS3 a kick in the pants by way of the TT RS’s 294kW/480Nm 2.5-litre inline five, which was only announced in April. The latest evolution of Audi’s signature five-cylinder performance motor, it’s able to take the TT RS to triple-digit speeds in a supercar-like 3.7 seconds. If it finds its way into the RS3, Audi may well have a giant-slayer on its hands.