Buyers should find plenty of competition in TCR category races around the world.
Audi has delivered the two initial examples of the RS3 LMS customer race car to Cadspeed-Racing and Speed Factory Racing Team. The sedan will hit the track in mid-January in the TCR class at the 24 Hours of Dubai.
“Following successful development and testing, production of the RS 3 LMS was launched at the end of November,” said Chris Reinke, head of Audi Sport customer racing.
RS3 LMS uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 326 horsepower (243 kilowatts). The engine gets the sedan to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 4.5 seconds, which is actually four tenths slower than the new 394-hp (294-kW) RS3 Sedan with a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder. Audi Sport also fits them with track-scraping front splitter, large wing, and a body kit with fenders that use all of the TCR category’s 76.8-inch (195-centimeter) maximum width.
The RS3 LMS is Audi’s entry in the recent crop of vehicles for the TCR touring car category. The models race in their own dedicated series for Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. Additionally, there are classes for them in some endurance events, like the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring. The rules stipulate that the competitors must use production-derived four- or five-door vehicles. The engine must have a single turbocharger and displace between 1.75- and 2.0-liters.
Audi offers the RS3 LMS in three forms. For 129,000 euros ($134,360), racers can get a version with a sequential six-speed racing transmission. Buyers who opt for an S tronic direct-shift transmission pay 109,000 euros ($113,530). Finally, the company has a club sport variant for 99,000 euros ($103,000) that’s not eligible for TCR competition but should still make a great track car.
Volkswagen Group apparently sees an opportunity in the TCR category because in addition to the RS3 LMS its brands offer the VW Golf GTI TCR and SEAT Leon Cup Racer TCR. Other models available to racers include the Kia Cee’d, Opel Astra, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and many others.