The next-generation Audi RS3 hatch and sedan performance models are all but confirmed for production as Quattro GmbH seeks to get official confirmation from Audi’s board in the coming weeks.
Speaking with Australian media at the company’s facility in Neuburg, Germany, the high-performance arm’s boss, Heinz Hollerwerger, said there was more than a 50 per cent chance the RS3 would go into production.
The RS3 sedan will be based on the Audi A3 Clubsport Quattro concept (pictured), which is powered by a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine with a massive 368kW of power and 600Nm of torque, accelerating from 0-100km/h in just 3.6 seconds – making it quicker than any RS car in Audi’s range.
Hollerwerger admitted a production version would still be at least two or three years away, however, and that it would likely be down on power compared with the concept.
Nonetheless, it's very likely the RS3 will keep the 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine when it goes on sale around 2016-2017.
“The main goal is to keep the five-cylinder engine,” Hollerwerger said.
“I think one of our aims is to go on with the tradition of the five-cylinder. Of course we showed also the one four-cylinder TT with 420hp (313kW). The problem is when you’re in daily use you need torque more than power and if you blow up these 2.0-lire four cylinder [engines] you get this problem of reduction of torque at low revs so we think the five cylinder is the best option.”
Asked what the right number of horsepower would be for the production model, Hollerwerger joked that the right number would be “as much as we could get”, but realistically at least 350hp, or around 260kW.
Once confirmed, the Audi RS3 sedan and hatch will both become standard production models for Quattro GmbH and unlike the previous RS3, which didn’t make it to Australia, the new model is all but guaranteed for our shores.