2014 Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The Worthersee event is just around the corner and as early as now, we’re seeing some of the Volkswagen Group’s newest toys. One of them, coming courtesy of Audi , is the A3 clubsport quattro concept, a prototype version of what could end up being the future RS3 model.

It’s no surprise that Audi opted to use Wörthersee to showcase its latest concept car. After all, the German brand used the same event a few years ago to debut the A1 Clubsport Quattro . This year, Audi really isn’t pulling any punches, debuting a sports car that serves as a pretty clear indication of the company’s intentions to bring the pain on rival models.

Audi accomplished that by introducing a model that showcasing a car it says has pushed the limits of power, dynamics, and design, things that you can only do by debuting a concept that people like us will most likely to salivate to see hit the road soon.

Yes, that now includes the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept.

Updated 05/28/2014: Audi released two video showing the new A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept in action. Found the new video in the "Videos" tab. Enjoy!

Click past the jump to read more about the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept

Exterior

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The concept is based on the S3 Sedan and seems to be a good jumping point to the new RS3. Overall, it doesn’t look too "concept-ish" but rather an aggressive interpretation that could very well lead to production down the road.

Looking at all the details of the A3 clubsport quattro concept, you get the idea that Audi really prepared this car with minimal changes should it hit production in the future. The Magnetic Blue body finish was a nice choice, but not exactly earth-shattering.

There’s nothing outwardly flashy about it, although you can make a case that the quattro badging slapped in the middle of the honeycomb grille is a little jarring. Shouldn’t the four rings logo, which Audi place on the hood, be the one that’s there? Other than that, the front section of the car looks like what you’d expect from it.

A distinctive element at the front of the show car is the continuous blade of exposed CFRP below the Singleframe grille. Like the winglets on a model airplane, its ends are bent upward to structure the large air inlets framed in massive edges. As with a race car, a splitter at the bottom of the front skirt increases the downforce on the front axle.

The side section features a high belt line that extends from the wheel all the way to the rear sidewall, giving the concept that muscular look that’s important for a car being packaged as a high-performance RS model. Side sill trims can also be found, and you need to take a look at them because they’re made entirely from carbon fiber-reinforced polymer.

Moving to the back, everything appears to be in their proper place, although a particularly distinctive design is that large diffuser that seems to rise up in the middle, separating the two tailpipes and the honeycomb grille from which they’ve been placed.

2014 Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept - Exterior Dimensions

Length4,490 mm (176.8 In.)
Width1,856 mm (73.1 In.)
Height1,382 mm (54.4 In.)
Wheelbase2,631 mm (103.6 In.)
Weight3,366 pounds

Interior

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The interior is an ideal example of how to balance the performance-oriented nature of the A3 clubsport quattro concept and Audi’s status as a premium auto brand. It’s often times hard trying to juggle those two things, but the German company somehow pulled it of.

Once you enter the cabin, you’re getting greeted by a lot of black. No fancy colors or neon piping; just straight-up black with light gray piping and a little Sepang Blue contrast stitching on the seat covers of the admittedly awesome racing seats with their own set of side bolsters. Another nice feature is the three‑spoke, multifunction sport steering wheel that comes with two large, separate buttons, one for start/stopping the engine and the other for Audi’s drive select modes. Still, the wheel doesn’t look ostentatious in any way, just a functional piece in a bigger makeup of functionality. Kind of also what you’d like to describe the seven‑inch monitor of the MMI navigation plus system.

Even the instrument cluster doesn’t waste its time on needless and showy design elements. Black faces, red needles and white numbers define the look, which really doesn’t say much for livening up any room. The

Drivetrain

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept is powered by a 2.5-liter TFSI turbocharged engine that produces a teeth-clenching 525 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque while mated to a seven‑speed S tronic transmission.

That’s enough power under the hood to catapult the concept from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds while also hitting a top speed of 192.6 mph. A large turbocharger with as much as 1.5 bar of relative boost pressure and a modified intercooler also do their part in making that power.

Beyond the obvious power numbers, the A3 clubsport quattro concept defines itself by weighing just 3,366.5 pounds (1,527 kg). That translates to an impressive 6.4 pounds per horsepower. Notice also how the car has been lowered by 0.4 inches compared to an S3 Sedan, allowing it to be more adaptive and responsive when its all 525 horses are galloping.

2014 Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept - Drivetrain/Specifications

Type2.5 TFSI
Output525 HP
Torque442 LB-FT @ 2,300-6,000 rpm
0 to 60 mph3.6 Sec.
Top Speed192.6 MPH

Just a concept or preview of the future?

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

That’s a question only Audi can answer but we believe its far closer to the latter than it is the former. We say that because there really aren’t a lot of elements to the A3 clubsport quattro concept that’s outwardly a prototype in nature. You don’t see gullwing doors, AI dashboards, or magnetic wheels. Just a finely prepared prototype for what could very well be a future iteration of the RS3 sedan.

Competition

BMW M3

BMW unveiled the new-generation M3 sedan in December 2013, before the retooled sports sedan was surprisingly launched on the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6 racing game.

The new M3, which will now be limited to just a sedan with the arrival of the M4 Coupe, will be powered by a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged I-6 that delivers 425 horsepower between 5,500 and 7,300 rpm, and 406 pound-feet of torque between 1,850 and 5,500 rpm. The engine is mated to either a standard six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed M Double Clutch transmission.

Those performance numbers should allow the M3 sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds with the seven-speed transmission or 4.1 seconds with the manual version with a top speed of 155 mph.

Pricing for the BMW M3 should start at around $62,000 excluding destination and handling fees.

Cadillac CTS Vsport Sedan

Cadillac CTS Sedan

Another new model that should make for a worthy rival to the RS3 is the Cadillac CTS Vsport, which has taken the place of the CTS-V sedan in the 2014 model year.

The CTS Vsport is an equally lethal hellraiser in its own right, making use of a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged engine that cranks out 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. It’s right in line with the numbers we expect from the new RS3, so it should make for a pretty interesting race between the two new sports sedans.

Sure, that’s a little lower than the M3 and its estimated 4.6-second 0-to-60 mph time will likely be a little slower than the M3’s sprint. Then again, we love the new look of the CTS, whereas the M3’s look is a little aged, despite its mild refresh.

Conclusion

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The design of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept didn’t really surprise us because it’s what we’ve come to expect from Audi. But what did get us all juiced up is the engine, which is supremely powerful at 525 horsepower. Considering that our initial estimates of the RS3’s output was just under 400 horsepower, the thought of the performance sedan producing supercar-like numbers has made us wonder whether Audi’s prepared to unleash the smackdown on the rest of the segment.

We’re not going to get to caught up, though, but isn’t it fair to at least assume that the RS3 will now boast at least 400 horsepower? At this point, we don’t think that’s far-fetched now.

LOVE IT
  • Powerful engine
  • Simple is sexy when it comes to the interior
  • Looks the part of a high-performance model with a lot of bite on it
LEAVE IT
  • Still a concept so how much will it translate to the production model?
  • No price yet
  • Is Audi just raising our expectations only to pull the rug from under us?

Press Release

Audi is presenting the A3 clubsport quattro concept at this year’s Wörthersee Meeting in Reifnitz (Kärnten) from May 28–31. The concept study is based on the S3 Sedan* and has a five-cylinder TFSI engine under the hood producing 386 kW (525 hp). Visitors can also see the Audi TT quattro sport concept show car, which debuted at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, and ten production models.

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

“The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept shows our car and tuning fans at the Wörthersee just how much sporty potential there is in the A3 family* and in our top‑of‑the‑line engines such as the 2.5 TFSI. We have pushed the limits in every respect with this show car: power, dynamics, sound, design,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg, Member of the Board of Management for Technical Development.

Based on the S3 Sedan*, the show car is equipped with a powerful five‑cylinder TFSI engine. The turbocharged engine with direct injection in the show car boasts an impressive success story. Since 2010, an expert jury has already voted it “International Engine of the Year” in its category four times in succession. The 2.5 TFSI powers the production Audi RS Q3*. In the show car, the 2,480 cc five‑cylinder produces 386 kW (525 hp) for a specific output of 155.6 kW (211.7 hp) per liter. With a total weight of 1,527 kilograms (3,366.5 lb), this corresponds to a power-to-weight ratio of 2.9 kilograms (6.4 lb)/hp. Maximum torque of 600 Nm (442.5 lb‑ft) is available between 2,300 and 6,000 rpm. The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in 3.6 seconds and reaches a top speed of 310 km/h (192.6 mph).

Extensive modifications make this extreme performance possible. These include a large turbocharger with up to 1.5 bar of relative boost pressure and a modified intercooler.

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The basic concept behind the five‑cylinder already makes it a special engine. The 1‑2‑4‑5‑3 ignition sequence gives it its own unique rhythm, which in the A3 clubsport quattro concept is reinforced by an intake and exhaust system designed for maximum throughput. The characteristic sound of this TFSI engine is a throaty snarl. In addition to earning top marks for sound and technology, the 2.5 TFSI is also visually stunning. The engine in the show car is only covered by a hood made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP).

The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept features a seven‑speed S tronic with a compact three‑shaft layout. Its tall seventh gear reduces fuel consumption, and the final gear ratio has been modified accordingly. The driver can allow the dual‑clutch transmission to work fully automatically in modes D and S or choose to change gears manually using the paddles on the steering wheel or the shift lever. A launch control function manages starts with maximum power and controlled wheel slip.

The heart of the quattro all‑wheel drive system is a hydraulically activated, multi‑plate clutch on the rear axle that has been specially designed for the high torque of the powerful five‑cylinder. Like the engine management system, its electronic controller is integrated into the Audi drive select driving dynamics system and takes the combination of “fun to drive” and safety to a whole new level.

The clutch can direct a portion of the torque from the front to the rear axle if the driver turns sportily into a corner.

Its advanced chassis enables the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept to deliver its tremendous power to the asphalt dynamically and safely. Aluminum components in the front McPherson suspension reduce the weight of the unsprung masses. The four‑link rear suspension can process the longitudinal and transverse forces separately. The steering rack of the progressive steering system is designed so that the steering ratio becomes more direct with increasing steering input. In addition, steering boost decreases as speed increases.

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

Compared to the production Audi S3 Sedan*, the body has been lowered 10 millimeters (0.4 in) and both the springs and dampers are very taut. All three parameters can be adjusted via the struts of the coilover suspension so that the show car can be perfectly adapted to the task at hand, be it on the road or the race track.

The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept rolls on 9.5 J x 21 wheels shod with size 275/25 R21 tires. The internally vented front brake discs measure 370 millimeters (14.6 in) in diameter. All four discs are made of carbon fiber‑ceramic, making them extremely lightweight and abrasion-resistant.

The ESC electronic stabilization control, which can be partly or completely deactivated, supports the show car’s dynamic handling with lightning-fast reactions. At the cornering limit, torque vectoring via brief applications of the brakes of the inside wheels ensures that the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept turns easily into the corner. It provides maximum control and reliability for drifts, with the front axle straightening the show car out again as it exits the corner.

The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB). This enables a low center of gravity and a finely balanced distribution of axle loads, which is a prerequisite for the car’s dynamic handling. Hot‑shaped steel components in the floor of the passenger cell form a strong structure. The extreme strength of the steel allows for thin walls and thus very low weights.

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The lightweight body lays the foundation for the show car’s low curb weight (without driver) of just 1,527 kilograms (3,366.5 lb). The result is a race car‑like power-to-weight ratio of just 2.9 kilograms (6.4 lb) per hp. The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept is 4,490 millimeters (14.7 ft) long, 1,856 millimeters (6.1 ft) wide and 1,382 millimeters (4.5 ft) tall. Its wheelbase measures 2,631 millimeters (8.6 ft).

The spectacular appearance of the Magnetic Blue body immediately reveals the dynamics of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept. The Singleframe grille up front is framed in matt aluminum. A quattro badge adorns the grille’s high-gloss black honeycomb insert, which has been optimized for high flow. The engine hood, whose front edge extends slightly over the grille and the LED headlights, sports the four rings.

A distinctive element at the front of the show car is the continuous blade of exposed CFRP below the Singleframe grille. Like the winglets on a model airplane, its ends are bent upward to structure the large air inlets framed in massive edges. As with a race car, a splitter at the bottom of the front skirt increases the downforce on the front axle.

The side view of the sedan has also gained some sharp accents. Two straight edges above the wheels that end in the doors contour the fender and the rear sidewall. The “blisters” give the body broad shoulders while also evoking the classic quattro models from Audi and the current RS 4 Avant*. The round fuel cover in the C‑pillars and the reduced side mirrors are further typical Audi sports car elements. The side sill trims are made entirely of CFRP (carbon fiber-reinforced polymer).

At the rear, a large diffuser that extends upward in the middle makes a bold statement. Three fins divide its high-gloss black honeycomb insert; two additional grilles joined by a blade conceal the tailpipes of the exhaust system.

When the driver of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept applies the brakes at high speed, the air brake is activated. Electronically actuated, the rear segment of the trunk goes from the spoiler position to nearly vertical in the blink of an eye. At 250 km/h (155.3 mph), the air brake reduces the stopping distance by around twelve meters (39.4 ft), in part because the ESC can allocate more braking power to the rear axle thanks to the increased downforce.

Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept

The cabin of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept seats four persons comfortably. Racing seats with high side bolsters await the driver and front passenger. The backrests are open-worked below the integrated head restraints and CFRP shells cover the backs – a visual expression of Audi’s lightweight construction concept.

Black faces, red needles and white numbers define the look of the instrument cluster. A shift light in the tachometer indicates when the rev limit of 6,900 rpm is reached, and the seven‑inch monitor of the MMI navigation plus system displays a special graphic when the engine is started. Two large, separate buttons on the three‑spoke, multifunction sport steering wheel are used to start and stop the engine as well as to choose Audi drive select modes.

Black is the dominant color in the show car’s interior. The seat covers feature light gray piping and contrast stitching in Sepang Blue. The headlining and the pillars are covered in black Alcantara, and the decorative inlays are brushed aluminum.

Fine details underscore the sportiness of the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept. The footrest and pedals are made of stainless steel; two open-worked bars form the handles for the door openers. The selector lever of the seven‑speed S tronic sports a red ring, a CFRP badge and a Clubsport logo. The badge with the name of the show car can also be found on the instrument cluster and on the door sill trims.

This year’s motto is “Audi Sport,” and the Audi stand has been transformed into the Audi Pit Lane. In keeping with this, the A3 clubsport quattro concept is joined by a familiar sports car from the line of show cars and ten additional high-performance models from various vehicle classes, some of which feature attractive Audi Genuine Accessories.


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