Audi RS3 Saloon revealed {{favouriteCount}} Quantity of Likes

17 Jan 2017

Audi has surprised everyone by revealing the new RS3 at the Paris Motor Show – not least because the hatchback body is out and a sleek saloon bodystyle is in. Most were expecting the new Q5 to arrive in Paris (as it has) but Audi really pulled out all the stops by launching the new RS3 and even a racing version.

The RS3 has in the last two generations been a hatchback based solely on the A3 Sportback 5dr bodystyle, but Audi Sport (the new name for Quattro GmbH) wants to sell this new RS3 in America, so it needed to be a saloon (or Sedan as they named it) and the A3 Saloon body was turned into this fantastic looking supercar slayer.

The front end uses the new design themes from the new TT-RS (to be seen across the new RS4 and RS5 too) by having a deep 3D-effect grille that’s also wider with more pronounced corners. Then there are intakes either side with styling ‘blades’ running through them which can be had in aluminium or painted black, and there is the famous ‘quattro’ logo in the grille too. LED headlights are standard. Swollen wheelarches give a dose of extra stance and aggression and allow for wide wheels to be fitted. At the rear the pert A3 saloon boot gets a lip spoiler and the bumper gets the usual diffuser and two large oval exhaust pipes. The interior is the usual RS fayre, in that it looks immaculately designed and ergonomically brilliant, with high backed seats, lots of quilted alcantara and Audi’s new Virtual Cockpit ahead of the driver.

Mechanically the new RS3 takes the drivetrain from the new TT-RS which means the all-new (lighter) 2.5 litre turbocharged 5-cylinder engine that puts out a staggering 394bhp. That puts it comfortably ahead of even the latest Mercedes A45 AMG which is 17bhp down. If you were into cars in the 90’s when a hot hatch having 200bhp was considered wild, these numbers are absolutely crazy, but what incredible fun this is going to be. That power is channelled to all four wheels via a seven speed dual clutch automatic gearbox, and we’re going to assume that it will sound incredible given how good the TT-RS sounds.

All that power means that the performance stats are equally staggering – 0-62mph takes just 4.1 seconds (0.4s behind the TT-RS due to the extra weight) and the top speed is limited to 155mph, but can be raised to 174mph with an optional Driver’s Pack.

The new RS3 Saloon goes on sale in summer 2017 and is expected to cost around £45,000. There is also apparently a 5dr Hatchback RS3 coming too, but that won't be for a while after this saloon, likely late 2017 or early 2018.