The new A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept - which is widely speculated to be the new-generation RS3 sedan in very thin camouflage - debuts this week at the Wörthersee show in Austria, with some reports indicating the car will be used to gauge the reaction of potential customers.
Audi development chief Ulrich Hackenberg says the car is designed to show what's possible with the A3 small premium car range.
"The Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept shows our car and tuning fans at the Wörthersee just how much sporty potential there is in the A3 family and in our top‑of‑the‑line engines such as the 2.5 TFSI," Hackenberg said. "We have pushed the limits in every respect with this show car: power, dynamics, sound, design."
That 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine produces the aforementioned 386kW of power and 600Nm of torque and sends its grunt to the ground via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and quattro all-wheel-drive system.
It has a top speed of 310km/h and a 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.6 seconds. The video shows the car under full acceleration, and also gives glimpses of the concept model putting its high-tech, hypercar-inspired air brake system to use. A flip-up flap ejects from the boot-lid to an almost vertical position, and Audi says it can help reduce the stopping distance by about 12 metres at 250km/h.
It's unknown if Audi plans to equip any production model with the high-tech brake system, particularly a small model like the RS3. A new RS flagship performance version of the A3 has been confirmed, but it won't be expected to replicate the performance figures of this outlandish concept.
Click the Photos tab above for more images of the Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro Concept.