2014 Audi A3 Clubsport concept
Audi still promising small four-door rocket while AMG eats up sales
Audi will bring the RS3 to the States, according to a report from Quattro World, as the German horsepower wars reach smaller cars. But it’ll get here only as a sedan and after the model is refreshed for 2017 … that’s a bit late, because Audi has been promising it for a couple of years.
The RS3 sedan will reportedly be powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine producing north of 400 hp, sending that power to all four wheels (courtesy of Quattro) via a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch transmission.
While the current RS3 exists in Europe as a Sportback wagon, the U.S. will likely receive it as a sedan because foreign automakers are convinced we’ll only buy sedans. There’s a certain logic to this: Mercedes-Benz doesn’t offer the A45 AMG hatchback in the States, instead selling the CLA45 AMG which is usable as a sedan if you’re not particularly tall.
Audi is pegged to offer its pocket sedan starting between $55,000 and $60,000 to make it competitive with the baby Benz.
Rumors of an impending RS3 are nothing new; almost exactly a year ago, an Audi executive told Automotive News that the RS3 would arrive in 2016.
“We really, really want the RS3,” Audi of America CEO Scott Keogh said at the New York auto show last year. The RS3 sedan is “going to be a great positioning car, a great halo car. I’m very confident we’ll see that car in the market. That’s as far as I’m going to go.”
The U.S. debut was likely pushed back because the model itself is due for a midcycle refresh — it wouldn’t have made much sense for Audi to invest in a federalized RS3 and then have to do it all over again after one year.
So 2017 could really be for real; we’re keeping our fingers crossed.