Following leaked photos and rumours everywhere, Audi’s ‘we knew it was coming’ RS 3 Sedan is now out in the open, having debuted at the Paris Motor Show.
And for potential customers of the ‘regular’ RS 3 Sportback, Audi has given you an incentive to dig a little deeper into your wallet.
That’s because the RS 3 Sedan isn’t simply a mirror of the Sportback with some extra metal at the rear, with Audi having boosted the output of its 2.5 litre five-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine to carry that extra metal.
Instead of 270kW and 470Nm, the sedan has 294kW and 480Nm at its disposal. It also has a wider track than the A3 upon which it’s based (20mm up front, 14mm at the rear) for more surefooted driving.
Naturally, the extra go means a faster 0-100km/h time, with the tonne arriving on the speedo in 4.1 seconds in the sedan verses 4.3 in the Sportback. Top speed is the same for both models – electronically limited to 250km/h – but Audi will increase this to 280km/h “on request”.
Audi rightly boasts that the RS 3’s mechanical soundtrack is enhanced over some of its competitors due to its five-cylinder engine, and the exhaust note is even adjustable through Audi’s Drive Select system.
Drive Select presents the driver with three main driving modes – comfort, auto or dynamic – which control not only the exhaust but the optional RS sports suspension as well. There’s even a mode for “controlled drifting”, or the electronic stability control (ESC) can be switched off completely.
The engine is also 26 kilograms lighter than the previous version, but Audi has not yet revealed whether the sedan has bettered the 8.1 l/100km fuel figure of the Sportback.
As with the Sportback, the RS 3 sedan is available only with Audi’s S-tronic seven-speed automatic transmission which distributes power to all four wheels via the Quattro all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring.
Stopping happens via 370mm front rotors and eight-piston calipers while the rear gets 310mm rotors (carbon ceramic brakes are optional). The RS 3 Sedan rides on 19-inch alloy wheels.
Inside, there’s Nappa leather sports seats, an RS Sport flat-bottomed steering wheel, Audi’s digital virtual cockpit instrument display, Audi Connect internet connectivity with an Audi SIM and RS 3 logos in the usual places. Sports seats with inbuilt head restraints are optional.
The 2017 Audi RS 3 Sedan is coming to Australia midway through next year, with pricing and local specifications yet to be determined. For comparison, the Sportback is priced from $78,616 plus on-roads.