Audi RS 3 sedan coming next year

Audi RS 3 sedan coming next year

Audi’s high-performance RS 3 sedan will reportedly join the A3 and S3 sedans in U.S. showrooms next year. The RS 3 is currently available in the European market in Sportback form.

According to Car and Driver, the U.S.-spec RS 3 will arrive sometime in 2017 as a 2018 model year. The RS 3 will be powered by a 2.5L five-cylinder turbo, but it won’t be the same mill found in the current Euro-spec RS 3. Audi is putting the finishing touches on an all-new 2.5L turbo-five that will debut later this year at the Beijing Motor Show.

That five-banger — which will be shared with the next TT RS — will reportedly develop about 400 horsepower, which would be enough to trump the 375 horsepower Mercedes-AMG CLA45. The current RS 3’s five-cylinder is rated at 362 horsepower.

Shifting through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and Audi’s quattro all-wheel drive, the RS 3 sedan will be capable of ripping from 0-60 in four-seconds flat. Depending on trim, the RS 3 will be able to hit a top speed of 174mph.

Given its scheduled 2017 introduction, the RS 3 sedan will be launching near the end of the A3’s lifecycle. While good for keeping interest high in an aging vehicle, that late market launch means Audi will be missing out on higher-margin sales. Hopefully Audi has learned its lesson on that front and will introduce the next RS 3 much earlier in the car’s lifecycle.