Packing a monstrous 5-Cylinder into a lightweight platform is what Audi achieved with the RS3 Sedan.
Audi has released a number of newly redesigned models at this year’s Paris Motor Show. Among the batch is the highly anticipated RS3 sedan. With Europe already having access to the RS3 Sportback, the RS3 Sedan is nothing new, but for us here in North America, it’s exciting news. Packing a more powerful, iconic engine, new features and topped with aggressive styling, its definitely a car to look forward to.
One of the defining features that sets the RS3 Sedan apart from any other S or RS car, is the iconic 2.5TFSI 5-Cylinder engine. The last appearance of this engine, on our shores, was in the TT RS coupe where it produced 360 HP and 343lb.-ft of torque. Returning in the RS3 sedan, as the most powerful 5-cylinder in the world, it produces 400HP and 354lb.-ft of torque. Combined with Quattro all-wheel drive and Audi’s S-tronic (7 speed dual clutch) transmission, the RS3 sedan can sprint to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds.
Cornering agility is improved using a wheel selective torque control system that brakes wheels closest to the corner to improve turn-in and a sport mode option that adjusts the ESC (electronic stability control) dynamics to allow for “controlled drifting”. All vehicle characteristics (such as opening up the valved exhaust to unleash the roar of the 5-Cylinder) can be managed by the driver using the Audi Drive Select program. The vehicle is brought to a stop using large 8-piston brakes, with optional Carbon Ceramic brakes for the front.
Flared fenders, wider 19-inch wheels and the distinct honey-comb grille embossed with “Quattro” along the bottom are key design elements that set the RS3 apart from the A3/S3. An aggressive front fascia shows the RS3 means business with a blade spanning across the front bumper and into two large, front air inlets that help with airflow. Around back, the RS3 can be identified by a lip spoiler, lower diffuser and distinct RS oval tailpipes. All “S” exterior colours are available along with Nardo Grey and Catalunya Red exclusively chosen from the RS colour palette.
The interior of the RS3 Sedan is nicely appointed and well-decorated with RS badging. Fine Nappa leather sport seats are standard while the more supportive RS seats are optional. A flat-bottomed steering wheel helps remind the driver that they are in no regular sports sedan. The RS3 comes packed with all the technology found in the S3, but the Audi Virtual Cockpit remains optional. When one opts for the Audi Virtual Cockpit, they can enjoy its plethora of features including a special RS screen-mode that places all relevant information (i.e. Tachometer, Boost Pressure, Torque and G-Force) at the center of the screen.
Keeping the RS3 safe during a commute are a number of driver assistance features including traffic jam assist which briefly takes over the steering in slow-moving traffic, emergency assist which automatically stops the car if required, and cross traffic assist rear to help with pulling out of a parking space.
The RS3 Sedan is bound to be a popular choice for those looking for a compact family hauler that has the competence of a race car. However, there still remains a short wait before these hit the streets. The Audi RS3 Sedan will be arriving in Summer of 2017 with a sticker price still to be determined.