The most powerful model from the A3 series has a 2.5-liter 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-liter 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 (294 kilowatts) – 33 hp (24.6 kW) more than its predecessor. Peak torque stands at 354 pound-feet (480 Newton meters), available at engine speeds between 1,700 and 5,850 rpm.

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

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

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