Audi introduced us to the awesomeness that was the A3 clubsport quattro concept at Worthersee in 2014, and mere days after that, Audi Australia confirmed — sort of — that the RS3 Sedan will snag design cues from the clubsport quattro concept. Now that’s a fast play.
Audi Australia product planner, Matthew Dale, confirmed the plan by telling Motoring at the Australian launch of the S3 sedan that the clubsport quattro concept is more than just an irrelevant prototype, but actually a preview of Audi’s RS lineup, specifically of the RS3 Sedan.
“The clubsport [quattro concept] is a view into the future of the RS,” Dale told Motoring. “The TT RS, RS Q3 and the previous RS 3 Sportback all use the 2.5 TFSI engine, and this [concept] shows you where it can go.”
This statement does more than just shed light on the RS3; it also clarifies speculation that Audi could opt for 2.0-liter power for its highest-output, A-segment vehicle ever. It does leave us wondering where the 309kW (414-horsepower), four-cylinder unit from Audi’s TT quattro sport concept , shown earlier in 2014, fits into the equation.
Dale also told the Australian auto news site not to expect the output numbers of the clubsport quattro concept to carry over to the RS3. The concept produced 525 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, and those numbers would be quite a stretch for the production RS3. At best, the RS3 Sedan could produce around 400 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. Even with those reduced numbers, the RS3 Sedan has the potential to be far more powerful than we thought it would be.
Updated 06/06/2014: We created a rendering for the upcoming RS3 sedan. Check it out after the jump.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Audi RS3 Sedan.
We took inspiration from the Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept, with the major changes compared to the standard A3 sedan including the lower front fascia, lower body work, RS-style mesh in grille with RS badge in front, larger and more aggressive front air intakes with fog lamps, a new carbon-fiber splitter up front, and body skirts. It also gets new rims from the Clubsport Concept and slight bulges in front and rear fenders to make way for the larger wheels. We did our best to stay true to the RS DNA.
When the time comes for the RS3 Sedan to make its debut, BMW will be waiting for it with the M3 Sedan. After surprisingly making its debut on the virtual world of Gran Turismo 6, BMW offers the new M3 exclusively as a sedan, making way for the M4 Coupe, which also made its debut in the same manner as the M3.
The new M3 carries 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. Those numbers 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 trans and hit a top speed of 155 mph. More importantly, the output of the M3 Sedan offers a real good indication of the standards Audi needs to reach for the new RS3 Sedan to be a competitive model.
Based on what Dale said, it looks like Audi’s on its way to those numbers, which could mean that we’re in store for quite a competitive battle between the two models.
Pricing for the BMW M3 should start at around $62,000 excluding destination and handling fees.
Gallery BMW M3
The Mercedes CLA 45 AMG is also a waiting competitor for the upcoming Audi RS3 Sedan. The CLA 45 AMG has the advantage of receiving AMG-inspired styling, highlighted by an AMG "twin blade" radiator grille and cross strut in the AMG front apron.
AMG also added sill panels with insertions in Matte Titanium Grey and a large "Turbo AMG" logo on the wing, giving the CLA 45 AMG a real identity that the RS3 Sedan should be very wary of.
The Mercedes CLA 45 AMG lugs around an AMG-built, 2.0-liter turbo engine that produces 360 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This peppy four-pot combines with an AMG 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system to help the CLA 45 AMG hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 155 mph.
Gallery Mercedes CLA 45 AMG
If the Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept really is a preview of the new RS3 Sedan, then we’re in for a real treat. We don’t expect the RS3 Sedan to carry the same design language as the concept, but we think some parts of it, including the aggressively styled front section, will translate to the production version.
The Audi A3 clubsport quattro concept features a 2.5-liter, TFSI, turbocharged engine that develops 525 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque while mated to a seven‑speed S tronic transmission. This combo allows it to hit 60 mph in 3.6 seconds to go with a top speed of 192.6 mph.