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
2014 Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept
Horsepower @ RPM:525
Torque @ RPM:442 @ 2300
0-60 time:3.6 sec.
Top Speed:192 mph
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
|Length||4,490 mm (176.8 In.)|
|Width||1,856 mm (73.1 In.)|
|Height||1,382 mm (54.4 In.)|
|Wheelbase||2,631 mm (103.6 In.)|
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
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
|Torque||442 LB-FT @ 2,300-6,000 rpm|
|0 to 60 mph||3.6 Sec.|
|Top Speed||192.6 MPH|
Just a concept or preview of the future?
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.
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.
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.
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.