2018 Audi RS 3 debuts with 400 horsepower

2018 Audi RS 3, 2016 Paris auto show

Audi’s new RS 3 has finally landed.

The car is a compact sport sedan with essentially the same mechanical package as the TT RS—and it’s coming to the United States.

Audi pulled the covers off on Thursday at the 2016 Paris auto show, and in the process likely unsettled the folks over at Mercedes-AMG. That’s because the RS 3 is packing a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 delivering a V-8-like 400 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque. The rival Mercedes-AMG CLA45 only has 375 hp and 350 lb-ft from its turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4.

Paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive system, the turbo-five will rocket the handsome RS 3 from 0-62 mph in 4.1 seconds and see it easily reach a governed 155 mph top speed. Should you wish to go faster, Audi says it will happily increase the limit to 174 mph.

The potent powerplant isn’t the only change over the regular A3 sedan. The RS 3 also benefits from a widened track, uprated brakes, lowered suspension and unique settings for the stability and traction control settings. As an option, Audi is offering a more aggressive suspension tune with adaptive dampers.

There’s also the aggressive body with pumped fenders adding as much as20 millimeters of girth to accommodate the wider track.  At both ends are custom bumpers and the rear you’ll also spot a trunk lid spoiler, a distinctive diffuser insert and large oval exhaust tips. The RS 3 also benefits from the exclusive color options Nardo Gray and Catalunya Red.

2018 Audi RS 3

Inside, a dark-toned theme welcomes the driver and passengers with illuminated door sills bearing the “RS 3” name. Nappa leather sport seats with RS logos on the headrests, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and RS logos on the dash are standard. Optionally available are more contoured RS sport seats with integrated head restraints, as well as a digital instrument cluster.

The RS 3 is confirmed to land in local showrooms in the summer of 2017. It will likely arrive as a 2018 model.

Audi is also using the Paris auto show for the debut of its new Q5 and A5 Sportback. For more Paris coverage, head to our dedicated hub.