The most powerful model from the A3 series has a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbocharged unit.

It’s finally official – the highly-anticipated Audi RS3 Sedan is making its world premiere in Paris, at the local auto exhibition. What we knew from a dealer conference from earlier this year is now confirmed by the arrival of the most powerful model in the A3 model series in the French capital.

Let’s start with the good news. It’s powered by Audi’s latest 2.5-lit43 turbocharged five-cylinder engine, which debuted in the TT RS. It’s actually the most-powerful five-cylinder unit on the market currently with whopping 400 horsepower – 33 hp more than its predecessor. Peak torque stands at 354 pound-feet, available at engine speeds between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm.

Audi’s new pocket rocket will hit 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour) in a phenomenal 4.1 seconds, before reaching an electronically-limited 250 km/h (155 mph. On request, the automaker will increase the top speed to 280 km/h (174 mph).

So far, so good. As one would expect from an RS product, the power is channeled to all four wheels through a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox and the company’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. The AWD management is integrated as a standard feature in the drive select dynamic handling system, as are the steering, gearbox, engine management, and the adjustable exhaust flaps. The driver can individually vary the operation of these components between three modes - Comfort, Auto, and Dynamic.

Audi RS3 Sedan
Audi RS3 Sedan
Audi RS3 Sedan

Improved handling is guaranteed thanks to the four-link rear axle and 25 millimetre (one inch) lower suspension compared to the standard model. Stopping power is provided by front brake disks with a diameter of 370 mm (14.6 inches) and eight-piston calipers with large-area linings. The standard 19-inch wheels are also hiding brake disks with a diameter of 310 mm (12.2 inches). Alternatively, Audi supplies carbon-fibre ceramic disks in front.

A high-performance sedan definitely needs a proper aerodynamic kit, and Audi has prepared a pretty extensive list of improvements for the design. It includes new bumpers with skirt for the front and a massive diffuser for the rear, larger air intakes, side skirts, and large oval tailpipes. Two RS-specific colours will be available - Nardo gray and Catalunya red (pictured).

What's the bad news? Audi says it will launch the model in the United States and China from summer 2017 under the Audi Sport label - nearly a year from now. No information regarding the Canadian or European market is currently available.

We will have live photos of the RS3 Sedan later today, so stay tuned. More details about the model are available at the press release section below.



Photos: Audi

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