Audi RS3 Sedan Wants To Smash The Competition With Its 400 PS

The most powerful model of the A3 series has been launched at this year’s Mondial de L’automobile, and it’s now ready to take a swing at the updated CLA 45 AMG.

As if the Sportback’s 367 PS (362 hp) and 343 lb-ft (465Nm) of torque weren’t enough to satisfy the average buyer, the sedan version comes with an even more powerful (and improved) variant of the 2.5-litre TFSI engine under the hood.

The mill in question is now 26 kilograms (57.3 lb) lighter than its predecessor, and it employs a dual injection system, as well as Audi’s valvelift (variable valve control system) for a bit of extra oomph. Like previous reports suggested, it now develops no less than 400 PS (394 hp) and 480 Nm (354.0 lb-ft) between 1,700 rpm and 5850 rpm, making it the most powerful five-cylinder on the market.

Powerful enough to launch the RS3 Sedan from 0 to 100 km/h (62.1 mph) in just 4.1 seconds, and let it accelerate all the way to 250 km/h (155.3 mph). But if that’s not enough, Audi will be more than happy to increase the electronic speed governor to 280 km/h (174.0 mph).

Granted, the S-tronic seven-speed dual clutch transmission has a saying in the vehicle’s performance as well, transmiting the power of the 2.5 TFSI to the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system – which distributes the drive torque variably between the axles.

Thanks to a multitude of electronic gizmos, the RS3 Sedan becomes a performer through the bends. For example, the wheel-selective torque control slightly brakes the inside wheels in fast cornering, transmitting greater lateral power and making the car more fluid and stable.

Visual-wise, the new model doesn’t hide the fact it’s a pure-bred performance automobile, sporting an aggressive, aerodynamically studied body-kit that cuts through air like a knife. The side air inlets form narrow funnels for better air flow through the wheel arches, while a fixed spoiler lip on the luggage compartment lid improves the separation of air flow.

At the interior, the car comes standard with an electrically extending MMI screen with a 7-inch diagonal, and two circular instrument dials. Since the car is dedicated to the enthusiastic driver, it also comes equipped with a boost pressure indicator, an oil thermometer and a lap timer. However, if this “back-to-basics” scheme doesn’t appeal to the customer, the RS3 Sedan can also be commissioned with the fully digital Audi virtual cockpit.